Telegram’s latest update went live on iOS on Friday, 12 August 2022, after the company’s CEO, Pavel Durov, claimed that Apple was preventing its release “without explanation”.

Durov has now revealed that Apple had held up the update as it wanted a specific emoji feature removed.

“After extensive media coverage of my previous post, Apple got back to us with a demand to water down our pending Telegram update by removing Telemoji — higher quality vector-animated versions of the standard emoji,” he said.

Durov described Apple’s request as “puzzling”, adding that the new emoji feature would have “significantly enriched their ecosystem”.

The update — excluding the Telemoji feature — was released on iOS on Friday, 12 August, and features a range of other emoji improvements.

Telegram’s Premium plan — which South Africans can subscribe to for R89.99 a month — now lets users upload customised emojis.

Standard users can only see custom emojis and use them in saved messages.

Telegram has also updated the GIF and sticker panel in its iOS app and added the ability for Premium users to limit who can send them voice and video messages.