Telegram first introduced chatbots two years ago, and with the latest version 4.0, developers will now be able to add a “pay” button to their messages, which when tapped will let users pay for products without leaving Telegram.
As the company said in a blog post: “Imagine a world where you can order pizza, pay for a pair of shoes, hire a cab, or refill your subway pass — all in a few button taps on Telegram.”
With Bot Payments, users will be directed to input their card and shipping details, then confirm the payment, all from within a chat feed with the bot.
They can also save their payment details for future use, and Telegram said Bot Payments also supports Apple Pay.
The new feature gives people a quick and easy way to pay for things like food, taxis or other services offered by bots – say a matchmaking service – all from within the Telegram app.
The Bot Payments feature is currently being supported by online payments company Stripe, and Telegram has said it will be partnering with the likes of RazorPay, FlutterWave, Qiwi and PaymentWall to help expand the feature into places like Nigeria, Uganda, India and Russia.
Version 4.0 also brings video message capabilities to the messaging app, enabling users to send up to a minute of video to their friends on the app.
People can take videos by tapping on the microphone icon and holding down the camera symbol to start recording, and swipe up to keep recording.
These videos will be automatically downloaded and played by the recipient’s device, and as the video plays in a movable pop-up bubble at the corner of the screen, users can continue to browse the app while watching.
Telegram has also added Telescope, a feature that lets people send videos to public channels, so non-Telegram users can view the content, as well as those using the app.
Finally, Telegram 4.0 brings Instant View, which lets people view webpage text and media from within the app.
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