You can now chat with your co-pilot via Telegram

Generative AI applications like ChatGPT, Gemini, and Copilot are called chatbots because you need to talk to them. So I guess it's only natural that chat apps would want to add chatbots to their platforms - whether or not users actually use them.

Telegram is the latest such app to add chatbots to its range of features. Its chatbot of choice? co-pilot. While Copilot has been available on other Microsoft-owned platforms before, Telegram is one of the first third-party apps to offer Copilot functionality directly, although that's certainly not obvious if you open the app today.

When I first learned about Telegram's Copilot integration, I launched the app and found nothing. This isn't entirely unusual for new features, as they typically roll out to users gradually over time. However, accessing Copilot in Telegram turns out to be a bit complicated. In fact, you need to search for Copilot via the Telegram username @CopilotOfficialBot. Don't just search for "Copilot" as you'll find all kinds of unauthorized options. I don’t recommend chatting with any random bot you find on Telegram, and certainly not any bot pretending to be a real deal.

You can also access it from Microsoft's "Copilot for Telegram" website. You need to open the link on a device using Telegram because when you select "Try Now" it will redirect to Telegram.

No matter which way you launch the Copilot bot, you will end up with a new chat with Copilot. The splash screen informs you that Copilot in Telegram is in beta and invites you to click "Start" to use the bot. Once you do this, you will be warned about the risks of using artificial intelligence. (After all, hallucinations happen all the time.) To continue, click "I Accept." You can start sending a message without accepting, but the bot will only reply to the original acceptance prompt, so you 'll need to agree to the terms if you want to get anywhere.

Here, you need to verify the phone number you are using in Telegram. Click "Send my phone number" and then click "OK" in the pop-up window to share your phone number with Copilot. You don't need to wait for a verification text message: Once you share your number, you're good to go.

From here on, it's Copilot, but in Telegram. You can ask the bot questions and queries on a variety of topics and tasks, and the bot will respond in kind. This version of the bot is connected to the internet, so it can find real-time information for you, but you can't use Copilot's image generator here. If you try, the bot will redirect you to the main Copilot site, iOS app, or Android app.

There isn't much here specifically related to Telegram, other than the ability to share an invitation to try Copilot with your friends. And you only have 30 "turns" per day, so keep that in mind so you don't get too chatty.

Ultimately, this seems to be Microsoft's strategy to get Copilot into the hands of more users. Maybe you won't download the Copilot app yourself, but if you're an avid Telegram user, you might be curious to try out the bot between conversations. I suspect this won't be the last Copilot integration we see from Microsoft, as the company continues to expand its artificial intelligence strategy.