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Telegram users have had access to stickers since 2015, but as part of the Telegram 5.9 update now rolling out, Telegram has introduced a new format for animated stickers that they say is higher quality while offering smaller sizes and consuming less battery.

Telegram engineers experimented with vector graphics, packaging methods and forbidden magic to create the Lottie-based .TGS format, in which each sticker takes up about 20-30 Kilobytes – six times smaller than the average photo. Thanks to various optimizations, animated stickers consume less battery than GIFs and run at a smooth 60 frames per second. If a picture is worth a thousand words, that's 180,000 words per sticker.

As noted in the changelog and on their announcement post, Telegram users can also create their own animated stickers. You'll find a handy how-to guide here that outlines what you need to get started.

  • Send ultra-lightweight high-quality animated stickers to express emotion with motion.
  • Receive animated stickers instantly on any connection at just 20-30 KB per sticker.
  • Enjoy smooth animations at 60 frames per second.
  • Create new animated sets and upload them to @stickers for everybody to use.
  • Try animated stickers from the Trending tab in your sticker panel.

I'm not so sure 'the Telegram animated sticker format is likely to become the new industry standard in messaging' as Telegram notes, but I have no doubt it will have plenty of fans.

Download: Telegram (free)

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