Unlike other chatting and messaging apps, Telegram was developed to support bots with little effort. The bot support has resulted in a staggering number of bot options you can find and integrate into your groups. Furthermore, making your own bot is pretty straightforward since most of the necessary tools are already on Telegram.
This guide will go through the process of making and adding a basic bot to your Telegram channel. For simplicity, the guide will focus on the PC version, but similar steps apply to other platforms.
How to Create a Telegram Bot
Making a simple Telegram bot shell is pretty straightforward. Here’s what you’ll need to do.
- Open the Telegram app and log in if needed.
- Click on the search bar in the upper left corner and search for “BotFather.”
- In the “Global search” tab, you will see a verified, check-marked account with the handle “@BotFather.” This is Telegram’s official bot-creation bot. Click on it to start chatting.
- Click on the large “START” button in the chat.
- Type or select the command “/newbot” from the list and send it to start the creation process.
- Now choose a name for your bot and send it. Note that the bot’s name doesn’t have to end with or contain “Bot,” but it can help other users know they’re using a bot down the line.
- After naming it, make a unique username for your bot. Per instructions, the username needs to have “bot” at the end.
- Save the API token link that the BotFather sends in a reply. Don’t share it with other people since it provides complete moderation access and control.
- Add a description to your bot by typing “/set description” and following it up with the descriptor text. Other users will see this text when the bot greets them or they open its details. It can be used similarly to a greeting message or point users to the bot’s basic commands.
- To complete the bot’s profile with a picture, type in “/setuserpic” and when BotFather answers, send the picture to add to your bot’s account.
And that is how you make a barebones Telegram bot profile. You should be able to see your bot if you type its username in the search bar, and when you click on it, it should open up a chat with the message you set as a description earlier.
Keep in mind that a newly-created bot is essentially a blank slate and has to be programmed in order to do anything remotely useful. You can consult Telegram’s bot manual linked in the first BotFather message to learn how to add commands or sign up for a service that does it for you.
Bots must have three basic commands: start, help, and settings. These global commands are available through an interface and help users navigate through other bot functions.
Unfortunately, this is where the easy part (and the extent of this guide) ends. Creating a functional bot takes programming knowledge, typically in Java, C#, or Python.
The token you saved can be used for third-party services to connect the bot’s API to theirs, allowing you to program or add functions through their platform. For complete freedom over how your bot operates, you’ll need to know more about libraries, coding, object-oriented programming, and know-how in IDEs (such as Visual Studio Code).
There are services made for bots intended for business promotion, currency exchange, product orders, news compiling, and much more.
Don’t Worry A-Bot It
What attracts people to Telegram can vary a lot. Some join because of the privacy and encryption, some because there is no limit to the number of channel members, and others because of its open-source code and the ease of implementing bots. And with all the possibilities Telegram offers, it is clear why it has such high user engagement.
This article only covered the basics of creating a bot, and the rest will be up to your programming experience or third-party implementation. Let us know in the comments if you had any issues with Telegram bots or what guides you’d like more information on next.