Telegram's new business features: A threat to WhatsApp Business?

Telegram Business integrates AI-backed chatbots that let businesses process and answer messages on their behalf
An undated image shows Telegram logo. — Unsplash

An undated image shows Telegram logo. — Unsplash

In a apparent declaration of rivalry with WhatsApp Business, renowned messaging platform Telegram has begun the development of a feature to outshine the former.

This stems from the announcement of Telegram founder Pavel Durov about a series of business features for the app.

The new features announced by the Telegram founder allow users to add their location and business hours, organise chats with colour-coded labels, use welcome messages and shortcuts for quick responses.

What new features are coming to Telegram?

Below is a detailed rundown of the features that will be introduced to Telegram Business.

Hours and location feature on Telegram Business

This feature will allow Telegram Business users to display their operating hours and show their location on a map. Users can create a business profile and tap on the location pin to view the details on a map.

Read more: Telegram's peer-to-peer login feature — Here's why you should not use it

Users will also have the option to choose the text and stickers that people see before starting a conversation. Businesses can also showcase information about their products and services or greet customers with branded artwork.

Telegram Business also enables users to create quick replies, an essential requirement to respond to your customer with pre-set messages, such as text formatting, links, stickers, media, and files. It should be noted that this feature only works in private chats.

To use Hours and location feature on Telegram Business, users need to type ‘/’ in the message bar, then a panel with all quick replies will appear, from there users can edit or send a message.

Greeting Messages

Telegram Business users can also set a greeting message that will be sent to users who contact the business for the first time.

Away Messages

Users can also set an away message that will be sent when a user’s business is closed or while they are on a vacation. Users can also limit any automated messages to exclude specific chats or entire chat categories.

Tags for Chats

This feature lets users add coloured labels to chats based on the chat folders they are in.

Links to Chat

This feature lets users create links to chat with businesses. Telegram says that when tapped, these links instantly open a chat with the business and paste a suggested message for the user. Telegram says these links can be used both inside and outside of Telegram and that each link shows how many times it was clicked so that the business can track its performance. 

AI feature on Telegram

Among a set of new features, the app has also integrated chatbots. These AI-backed bots let businesses process and answer messages on their behalf. “This allows businesses to seamlessly integrate any existing tools and workflows, or add AI assistants that manage their chats,” Telegram wrote.