The team behind the messenger Telegram released a new version of the client for Android and iOS yesterday that introduces support for importing chats from the messengers WhatsApp, Line and KakaoTalk.
More than 100 million new users joined Telegram in January 2021 according to the announcement. While Telegram did not reveal where these came from, it is likely that WhatsApp/Facebook privacy changes played a large role in it.
The new import option supports individual chats and group chats alike, and includes documents and videos. Images are not mentioned explicitly, which is odd as WhatsApp exports may include them.
A quick test confirmed that the feature is working, but that it is taking a long time to import content, while exporting the content to Google Drive was significantly faster.
The process itself is straightforward and as easy as it gets. Here is how it works on Android to exemplify it:
Telegram notes that users can save space on the device after the importing finishes by freeing up space on it; this is done under Settings > Data and Storage > Storage Usage. It can be used to removed data from Telegram without losing access to it thanks to the service's servers on which the data is still stored.
WhatsApp users who want to leave the application can now export their chats to Telegram to take previous conversations, files and media with them when they move on; that is a helpful feature as it allows you to keep messages, files and media when switching to Telegram.
The Telegram update introduced a number of new features next to the importing functionality. You can read more about these on the official Telegram blog.
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