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Telegram uses Apple emoji images instead of displaying platform-native emojis. These are updated to use the latest images from Apple, generally one month after public release on iOS.

Telegram allows custom stickers to be uploaded, and assigned to certain emojis. Stickers can be assigned a relevant emoji, to apear as an emoji tooltip. Voice calls are also secured by emoji.

Since late 2020 Telegram has rendered select emojis with a custom animated design when they are sent on their own within a message without any other text or emojis. These animations are based on the Apple emoji design set as used by default on Telegram. As of October 2022, over 400 emoji designs feature at least one possible animation.

As of September 2021, Telegram has a feature entitled Interactive Emoji. When a user sends one instance of a select emoji in any private chat, the emoji will display with a custom design which will display an animated fullscreen effect when tapped.

At present 🎆 Fireworks, 🎉 Party Popper, 🎈 Balloon, 👍 Thumbs Up, 💩 Pile of Poo, and ❤️ Red Heart have Interactive Emoji support.

Telegram X, an alternative client from the same company, offers a choice of emoji sets such as the Google, Twitter, and Samsung sets. It also offers popular Google blob emoji designs. The Apple set is the default, matching standard Telegram.