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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.

Since late 2020 Telegram has also 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, with new emojis being given animation support every few months.

As of March 2023, over 600 emoji designs feature at least one possible Telegram animation, with emojis such as ๐ŸŽฒ Game Die and ๐Ÿ€ Basketball featuring more than one possible animation.

Additionally, as of September 2021, Telegram has a feature entitled Interactive Emoji incorporated into a handful of its custom animated emoji designs. 

When a user sends one instance of a select emoji in any private chat and the custom animated emoji is displayed, a fullscreen effect can be activated for both the sender and receiver of the emoji if the animated emoji is tapped. The ๐ŸŽ† Fireworks, ๐ŸŽ‰ Party Popper, ๐ŸŽˆ Balloon, ๐Ÿ‘ Thumbs Up, ๐Ÿ’ฉ Pile of Poo, and โค๏ธ Red Heart emojis currently have Interactive Emoji support.

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