Telegram CEO Pavel Durov wrote a post this week to reveal that Apple was holding off on releasing a major Telegram update for an unknown reason. Now the update has finally been approved in the iOS App Store, and Durov confirmed that Apple complained about the new animated emoji included in the app.

The latest update to Telegram’s app for iOS comes with multiple new features, especially for Premium subscribers. For example, it lets users restrict voice messages and even gift someone with a Telegram Premium subscription. However, the most notable feature coming with this update is the new emoji panel, which also brings new animated emoji.

More animated emoji coming to Telegram

Telegram already has some animated emoji, but now the platform is taking this feature even further. Users can finally add multiple animated emoji to their messages, whereas previously only emoji sent individually were animated. The app offers multiple packs of “Telemoji,” as these new animated emoji are called.

And that’s where the situation with Apple comes in. In a new post on his Telegram channel, Durov claimed that Apple demanded that the platform remove Telemoji from the update. That’s because, among the new packs, there was one heavily inspired by the original iOS emoji but with animations created by Telegram.

According to Durov, Telemoji “would have brought an entire new dimension” compared to the “static low-resolution emoji” that come included in iOS. Telegram’s CEO argues that Apple has opposed the “higher quality vector-animated versions of the standard emoji.”

The Telegram update with Telemoji has been approved by the App Store review team. However, at least for now, this version doesn’t include the animated emoji pack inspired by Apple’s design language. Durov said that, in the long term, this will motivate Telegram to make Telemoji even more “unique and recognizable.”


An Apple spokesperson reached out to 9to5Mac with some details about what happened with the Telegram update.

The App Store review team found that some of the new Telegram emoji had the same language as Apple’s trademark emoji. According to the App Store’s 5.2.5 guideline, third-party developers can’t create apps that are “confusingly similar to an existing Apple product.” In the same guideline, Apple makes it clear that this includes not replicating Apple emoji design.

Apple told Telegram the reason why the app update was rejected and how developers could proceed to make the update compliant with the App Store guidelines. Once Telegram removed the emoji pack inspired by Apple’s emoji, the app update was approved in the App Store.

The company pointed out that all App Store developers are under the same rules, and that these guidelines not only protect users but also trademarks.

Telegram update approved in App Store after Apple complained about animated emoji

It’s worth noting that only Premium subscribers can send Telemoji, but anyone can view them in messages. Telegram is available for free on the App Store, but the Premium subscription costs $4.99 per month for iOS users.

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About the Author

Filipe Espósito

Filipe Espósito is a Brazilian tech Journalist who started covering Apple news on iHelp BR with some exclusive scoops — including the reveal of the new Apple Watch Series 5 models in titanium and ceramic. He joined 9to5Mac to share even more tech news around the world.