According to Telegram CEO Pavel Durov (Opens in a new window), Apple refused to approve the latest version of the messaging app until a batch of animated emoji (which Telegram refers to as Telemoji) were removed.
Telegram appears to have built Telemoji on top of Apple’s emoji, which caused the issue. While emojis are standardized, companies create their own interpretations of them, which is why they look different across platforms. Creating an animated version of the “grinning face” emoji is acceptable; however, using the “grinning face” emoji that Apple ships with iOS, macOS, and other operating systems as the foundation for that animated emoji is not.
“”Apple got back to us with a demand to water down our pending Telegram update by removing Telemoji – higher quality vector-animated versions of the standard emoji after extensive media coverage of my previous post,” Durov says. […] This is a perplexing move by Apple, because Telemoji would have added a whole new dimension to its static low-resolution emoji and significantly enriched their ecosystem.”
Telegram compromised by removing the Telemoji based on Apple’s emoji from its app without completely abandoning the feature. According to Durov, the company released ten other “emoji packs” with the most recent version of Telegram for iOS, “along with the ability for any user to upload their own emoji,” so people should have plenty of animated emoji to choose from despite the company’s last-minute decision to pull the contested designs.
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Telemoji is now available to Telegram Premium users. With the latest update to its iOS app, Telegram has also introduced(Opens in a new window) new privacy settings for voice messages, a new sticker, GIF, and emoji panel, and the ability to gift Premium subscriptions to other users.