Telegram CEO Pavel Durov announced today that the messaging app is adding Stories in early July. Durov says users have been asking for the feature for years, noting that more than half of all feature requests that Telegram receives are related to Stories. The company was initially against adding Stories because they “are already everywhere,” but wanted to listen to its users, Durov says.
With Stories on Telegram, users will be able to decide who can see each of their stories. You can choose to have your Stories viewable by everyone, your contacts, a few selected contacts or a list of close friends. Stories will be placed in an expandable section at the top of your chat list. Users will be able to hide Stories posted by any contact by moving them to the ‘Hidden’ list in their Contacts section instead of the main screen.
Users will have the option to add captions and links to their Stories. There’s also the option to tag other people in your Stories. Notably, you will be able to post photos and videos taken by the front and the rear cameras simultaneously in a BeReal-like style.
In addition, you will be able to choose when your story expires. You can have it expire in six, 12, 24, or 48 hours. Or, you can permanently display stories on your profile page, in a way that’s similar to how Instagram lets you display Story highlights.
“The ability to save your stories to the profile page will make Telegram profiles more informative and colorful,” Durov wrote in his announcement post. “You will not only be able to explore more content from your closest contacts, but finally discover more information about users you connect with in groups or channel comments. Speaking of channels, they will benefit from more exposure and subscribers: once we launch the ability to repost messages from channels to stories, going viral on Telegram will become a lot easier.”
Durov says following internal tests of Stories, even the skeptics on the Telegram team started to appreciate the feature, and that Telegram can no longer imagine the messaging service without it.
Stories are in their last testing phase and will become available in early July. Durov believes the feature will “herald a new era on Telegram,” and allow the platform to become more social that it currently is.