Type of Resource


Publication Date

June 23, 2023


Social Media and Apps 
Telegram is a cross-platform messaging app that claims to “deliver messages faster than any other application.” It combines familiar elements from other platforms like into one messaging service through use of AI bots, instant messaging, chat customisation, and time-bound messages between individuals, small groups, or large groups (of up to 200,000 people).

Age Restrictions

The terms and conditions of use state that EU and UK citizens must be “at least 16 years old to sign up” while the Apple App Store rates the app ‘17+’ and Google Play advises ‘Parental Guidance’.

Core Functions

Users are able to connect with others via text chat, voice call, or video call, with the ability to switch between different talking options.
Lets users connect with other users who are geographically close to them. This feature must be manually enabled to use.
Ensures that messages can only be seen by those who send and receive them, providing an extra layer of security.
Ensure that a user’s data and messages cannot be accessed by their service provider.
Also known as ‘disappearing messages’, users can set ‘self-destruct’ times on messages, ranging from 2 seconds to a week.
Accounts operated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are used to play various games and engage in conversation with users.
A tool that lets a group of administrators or an individual administrator broadcast messages to an unlimited subscriber base.
Telegram also uses familiar features like hashtags, saved messages, live location, and customisation to engage user interest.


There are no effective age verification measures available on this app, though it says it is meant for users aged 16+. This means children could access age-inappropriate content with ease.
Very little harmful content seems to get removed by moderators. This includes hate speech, doxing (leaking personal information), and offensive language.
As Telegram uses public channels and hashtags, children could be exposed to inappropriate content such as substance abuse, sexual behaviour, and extremist language/ideologies.
The ability to connect with ‘others in your area’ may lead young people to disclose their location and other personal details (such as addresses) that could lead to grooming or in-person harassment.
Anyone can use Telegram; this includes curious and vulnerable children and adults with predatory intentions for children. This can result in grooming, extremist induction, and cyberbullying.
Being able to send things that disappear may lead children into a false sense of security about sharing intimate or private photos or videos. It’s important to remind them that other users can still screenshot or screen-record their answers and have them saved, even if they have been deleted from their conversations.

Top Tips

(such as blocking, reporting, privacy, passcodes, and sensitive content filters) by visiting our Safety Centre.
Talk to those in your care about the importance of knowing (and trusting) who they are sharing messages, photos, and videos with. Remember – almost anything posted can be captured somehow by anyone, even friends.
This will help children and young people understand exactly how their images belong to them, while also encouraging them to share safer images with others across all platforms.
Research shows that younger generations are concerned with appearing ‘authentic’ online and through texting. This can make them vulnerable to overly personal questions, leading to oversharing.
Messaging platforms can make it difficult for a young person to ignore a new message from a group or personal chat. Highlight screentime limits within your setting (e.g. device-free lessons).
Not everything that is present on an app is real or truthful. Take some time to talk through what misinformation is and how to spot potential instances on their social media feeds.
Ensure those in your care would know what to do and who to talk to if something they see in a chat makes them feel uncomfortable. Use our Trusted Adult resource to help.
Remind them not to share any personal details with other users, even if they feel comfortable and safe. It’s also worth encouraging them not to use live location features.

Welcome to the Online Safety Hub

How old are you?

If you are under 18, click the blue button below to visit the Online Safety Hub micro-site for children and young people.