Telegram doesn't quite have the same user numbers as its primary competitor WhatsApp, but it does have some features that the Facebook-owned instant messaging app doesn't offer. One of these is a better sticker system, which has been around since 2015 and works a lot better than on WhatsApp. Telegram has now introduced animated stickers to its app, which are said to be high-quality while keeping the file sizes small to ensure that they don't consume a lot of bandwidth. Animated stickers are now rolling out for all users through the latest Telegram app update, v5.9.
The new animated stickers for Telegram use the Lottie-based .TGS file format, and play at 60fps. Each sticker is said to take up 20-30 kilobytes, which is considerably less than the average photo. Telegram further claims through its blog post that the new stickers consume less battery as well.
While the first set of stickers have been developed and distributed by Telegram itself, the .TGS format is an open one; artists and users are free to develop their own stickers using this format and distribute them using the platform. Stickers are one of Telegram's most popular features, and are designed to be distributed easily and quickly; users simply need to tap on a received sticker to be able to download it and add it to their library.
In all other ways, the animated sticker format will work like the static format in use already, and users will be able to search and apply stickers by typing in the relevant emoji and letting the app show you recommended stickers. WhatsApp also recently introduced stickers for its service, although these aren't quite as popular as stickers on Telegram.