Telegram unlocks live stream viewers as part of major version 8.0 update

Telegram, the messaging app that is increasingly looking like a full-fledged social media network, is expanding support for video live streams with the latest update. Version 8.0 of the app, now available on both iOS and Android, allows live streams to be watched by an unlimited number of viewers, from the previous limit of 1,000. Other new features include more options when forwarding messages and a shortcut to switch between channels.

Increasing the maximum viewership in this way opens the door for Telegram to become a fully mobile live streaming platform, complete with the ability for as many as 30 users to broadcast at once. “The power to run your own TV station is right here, right in your pocket,” Telegram says. The service also supports Clubhouse style voice channels with support for “millions” of live listeners. It’s a rapid advance considering Telegram’s group calling feature that only launched in June of this year.

Also included with version 8.0 of the app is an option to remove captions and hide sender names when forwarding messages and media. Scrolling to the bottom of a text channel now includes a new option to quickly swipe up to go to the next unread channel. Other interface tweaks include a new “choose a sticker” status in chats and an unread counter in discussion threads.

As of January this year, Telegram boasted 500 million active users, compared to about 2 billion for Facebook’s rival WhatsApp.