Telegram has raised a total of $1.7 billion from its two pre-ICO sales

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In February, secure messaging service Telegram launched a presale for its cryptocurency prior to an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), raising $ 850 million from 81 investors, and later that month, The Verge learned that it was launching a second private presale, in which it aimed to double that amount. Bloomberg Technology reports that the company did just that, and has raised a total of $ 1.7 billion in March between the two sales.

In a filing to the Securities and Exchanges Commission, Telegram says that it raised an additional $ 850 million from 94 investors in the second sale, bringing the total amount to $ 1.7 billion. It also says that it might “pursue one or more subsequent offerings” beyond these first two sales.

The company is…

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Telegram X March Update adds multi-account support, image preview in notifications, and much more [APK Download]

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Telegram X, the sort-of beta/feature testing alternative to the main app, received its March Update, adding a slew of new features. Things like multi-account support, image preview in notifications, and so on make their appearance in this latest version. There’s a lot to get through, so get ready for a long ‘un.

As always, here’s the changelog:

  • Multiple Accounts: quickly switch or preview accounts in the side menu
  • In-app Map View
  • Live Locations
  • Emoji Tones: hold emoji to change the skin tone, swipe up to apply this tone to all other emojis
  • Typing, upload and other animations
  • Reorder Pinned Chats
  • Image Preview in Notifications
  • Independent Chat Appearance setting for Channels
  • More Themes
  • Decreased application size
  • People suggestions on calls tab
  • Significantly improved chat search
  • Telegram Call strength indicator
  • Better connectivity detection while using VPN
  • Canada country code
  • Chat photo open animation
  • Link preview for t.me album links
  • Support for special Telegram links
  • Outgoing voice messages now can be removed via Settings > Data and Storage > Storage Usage.

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Iran reportedly to block Telegram due to ‘national security’ concerns

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After posting about its impressive 200 million user count, messaging service Telegram has been dealt another blow. The Iranian government is reportedly preparing to block the platform, citing concerns of “national security.”

This follows not too long after Telegram lost an appeal in Russia, where the government there ordered the company to hand over its encryption keys, again with nods to national security. In Iran’s case, the report comes from Mashreghnews.ir, who quotes Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the Chairman for the Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran.

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Telegram is down for many users – go talk cryptocurrency somewhere else

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No, it’s not just you: Telegram is down for many users across the board – so you might have to move your cryptocurrency and blockchain discussions to another platform for the time being. The popular encrypted messenger has confirmed it is struggling with server downtime due to a power outage. The issue is affecting users in Europe, Middle East, and certain parts of Asia. It seems that Russia and countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States (like Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Moldova) are most severely affected. Telegram has been struggling with intermittent downtime for a couple of  hours now, but it is worth…

This story continues at The Next Web
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Telegram hits solid 200 million monthly active users milestone, shares 4.8.5 update [APK Download]

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How many different options do you have for sending messages with your phone? Even setting aside the obvious ones like SMS and email, we’re looking at dozens upon dozens of apps that either exist purely as messaging solutions, or incorporate messaging into a broader app. The companies behind these apps know you have your pick of which to choose, and do what they can to stand out with new features, slick interfaces, and powerful security tools.

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Telegram hits solid 200 million monthly active users milestone, shares 4.8.5 update [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Telegram loses appeal to keep encryption keys from Russian government

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Telegram is a popular messaging service in Russia, partially because of its encrypted communication capabilities. However, the company may be forced to disclose its encryption keys if a new court ruling stands. Russian Supreme Court Judge Alla Nazarova denied Telegram’s appeal today, ordering Telegram to hand over the keys to the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Russia is in the midst of a crackdown on secure messaging clients following the implementation of new anti-terrorism laws in 2016.

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20 Useful Telegram Bots to Wean You Off WhatsApp

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OK, so WhatsApp IS the most widely-used instant messaging app, but it’s certainly not the best. The Facebook-owned software has many worthy competitors, one of which is Telegram.

We have written about why you should use Telegram instead of WhatsApp elsewhere on the site, but one feature we didn’t touch on is the presence of bots.

We’re not talking about Russian bots trying to influence elections. Telegram bots are useful tools that can do everything from helping you streamline your productivity to helping you discover new music.

There are literally thousands of bots available on Telegram. So, how do you know which ones are worth your time? Just read on to find out.

1. Weatherman

The Weatherman bot keeps you abreast of the latest forecasts for your location. You can view one-day, two-day, and weekly forecasts. You can even customize your notifications so you only receive an alert when the forecast meets specific criteria.

2. Feed Reader

Contrary to popular belief, RSS isn’t dead. It remains one of the best ways to stay abreast of all the sites you care about. Feed Reader works with regular RSS feeds, but can also read public Facebook pages, and YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.

3. What Music Bot

You can think of What Music Bot as Shazam for Telegram. It can recognize and identify songs.

To use the bot, open a chat window and hold down the Record button. Release the button to send the recording, and, after a few seconds, the bot will tell you the name of the artist and track.

4. DeLorean

Sadly, despite the name, this bot won’t help you time travel. It will, however, make sure you never forget anything important.

If you write a message to the bot, it will offer to create a notification for you at a defined time in the future. For example, you could write “Email Dave about his favorite cheese” and get DeLorean to remind you next Thursday.

5. Crypto Whale

Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum; the list goes on. Today, there are thousands of altcoins out there. If you have a diversified portfolio, it’s difficult to track the price movements you care about. Crypto Whale might be able to help. It provides on-demand charts, prices, and market capitalization for most coins. It’ll even let you know about upcoming ICOs.

6. Just Dharma Quotes

If you’re ever having a bad day, you can always turn to Buddhist quotes for a hit of uplifting inspiration.

Just Dharma Quotes will provide you with a phrase whenever you ask for one.

7. GetMedia

GetMedia lets you download photos, video, and audio from most of the leading social networks and video sites.

YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter are all supported. Just make sure you don’t breach any copyright laws when grabbing content.

8. Pomodoro Timer

The Pomodoro technique is a time-management methodology. It introduces brief “rests” into your working day. Traditionally, you should split your time into 25 minutes of work and five minutes of respite, but use whichever split work for you.

9. To PDF

To PDF is a productivity bot. It can convert DOC, DOCX, ODT, TXT, and JPG files into the PDF format.

Just send your files to the bot in the app, and you’ll receive a PDF in return moments later.

10. Skeddy

Skeddy is similar to the previously mentioned DeLorean. Its core purpose is sending you reminders.

The bot can understand natural language, thus allowing you to set reminders with your voice. It can also create recurring reminders and postpone existing reminders.

11. UberTaxi

Uber’s status as the premier ride-sharing app in the United States might be under threat from Lyft, but the company is still extremely popular; it provides a staggering 5.5 million rides per day around the world. This bot lets you order an Uber to your location without using the Uber app.

12. Wolfram Bot

Wolfram Bot brings the power of the Wolfram Alpha website to Telegram.

For those who don’t know, Wolfram Alpha is one of the web’s most well-known computational knowledge engines. It answers factual queries from its bank of “curated data.” It will not link you to individual websites.

13. Spotybot

Spotybot is a multi-functional Spotify bot. It lets you listen to music from within the Telegram app, add songs to your Spotify library, and share tracks and playlists from friends.

14. Giphy GIF Search

A good GIF is a surefire way to brighten up a chat, or perhaps make people groan, depending on your standpoint.

Giphy GIF Search works across all your existing Telegram chats. Type @gif [search term] to find the perfect animation.

15. PronunciationBot

It takes years of frequent practice until you can say you’re truly fluent in a new language, although with some well-deployed online laguage-learning tools you can be conversational quickly. With PronunciationBot, you’ll be able to convey your needs wherever you find yourself. The bot supports 84 languages.

16. Trending Bot

We live in a world of fake news. So perhaps it’s better to get your current affairs from the world’s major search engines and social networks instead.

The Trending Bot monitors Google Trends, Twitter’s Trending Now, and YouTube’s trending videos so you’ll always know what’s hot.

17. Text to Speech Bot

If you struggle to type using an on-screen keyboard—or if you’re just downright lazy—Text to Speech can help. As the name suggests, just start speaking and the bot will transcribe your voice into text. It can use both the wit.ai and Google Speech backends.

18. Markdown Bot

OK, so these days we have emojis to brighten up our messages, but texts can still be a little underwhelming.

This bot lets you add bold, italic, and underlined text to your messages. Just type @bold, @italic, or @underline respectively.

19. PokerBot

Time for a bit of fun. PokerBot lets you play Texas Hold ‘Em against both your friends and random Telegram users.

But be assured that PokerBot is not a gambling app, and no money is involved.

20. Storebot

Is there a bot you’d love to use but that we haven’t covered? If so, then Storebot is the answer. It’s the official Telegram Store Bot.

You can browse available bots, send bot recommendations to friends, and install new bots in your Telegram app.

Telegram Bots as Far as the Eye Can See

These 20 bots add a fantastic selection of useful and usable tools to Telegram. And they might be all that you need to finally dump WhatsApp and go all-in on Telegram.

However, remember that Telegram is far from the only service that offers useful bots. If this article has inspired you to deploy some bots in other apps you use, check out our list of Android chatbots, productivity bots to automate tasks, and useful Facebook Messenger bots.

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Exclusive: Telegram is holding a secretive second pre-ICO sale

You have to admire Pavel Durov’s audacity.

Over the past few months, the CEO of Telegram convinced 81 accredited investors, including Silicon Valley giants Sequoia Capital and Benchmark, to give him $ 850 million in a presale of his company’s cryptocurrency in advance of an initial coin offering, or ICO. Now he’s trying to raise even more money from accredited investors before the coin gets offered to the public in a secretive second presale.

This week, investors got an email explaining that Telegram is doing another private presale, four sources with knowledge of the deal told The Verge.

The exact amount to be raised is still being determined, according to one source, but two other sources said Telegram is estimating it will be around…

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[Update: It’s back] Telegram X just disappeared from the Play Store

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Last month, Telegram launched a new client for Android and iOS, named ‘Telegram X.’ It’s an experimental app based on ‘Challegram’ (which Telegram previously acquired), designed to be faster and smoother than the main app. But now, for reasons unknown, it has vanished from the Play Store.

It’s unclear why the app is now missing from the Play Store, but the iOS version remains live on the Apple App Store.

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[Update: It’s back] Telegram X just disappeared from the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Telegram X just disappeared from the Play Store

Last month, Telegram launched a new client for Android and iOS, named ‘Telegram X.’ It’s an experimental app based on ‘Challegram’ (which Telegram previously acquired), designed to be faster and smoother than the main app. But now, for reasons unknown, it has vanished from the Play Store.

It’s unclear why the app is now missing from the Play Store, but the iOS version remains live on the Apple App Store.

Read More

Telegram X just disappeared from the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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