Generative AI applications like ChatGPT, Gemini, and Copilot are known as chatbots, since you’re meant 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, you know, use them.

Telegram is the latest such app to add a chatbot to its array of features. Its chatbot of choice? Copilot. While Copilot has landed on other Microsoft-owned platforms before, Telegram is among the first third-party apps to offer Copilot functionality directly, although it certainly isn’t obvious if you open the app today.

When I first learned about Telegram’s Copilot integration, I fired up the app and was met with a whole lot of nothing. That isn’t totally unusual for new features, as they usually roll out gradually to users over time. However, as it turns out, accessing Copilot in Telegram is a little convoluted. You actually need to search for Copilot by its Telegram username, @CopilotOfficialBot. Don’t just search for “Copilot,” as you’ll find an assortment of unauthorized options. I don’t advise chatting with any random bot you find on Telegram, certainly not any masquerading as the real deal.

You can also access it from Microsoft’s “Copilot for Telegram” site. You’ll want to open the link on the device you use Telegram on, as when you select “Try now,” it’ll redirect to Telegram.

Whichever way you pull up the Copilot bot, you’ll end up in a new chat with Copilot. A splash screen informs you that Copilot in Telegram is in beta, and invites you to hit “Start” to use the bot. Once you do, you’re warned about the risks of using AI. (Hallucinations happen all the time, after all.) In order to proceed, hit “I Accept.” You can start sending messages without accepting, but the bot will just respond with the original prompt to accept, so if you want to get anywhere you will need to agree to the terms.

Credit: Lifehacker

From here, you’ll need to verify the phone number you use with Telegram. Hit “Send my mobile number,” then hit “OK” on the pop-up to share your phone number with Copilot. You don’t need to wait for a verification text: Once you share your number, you’re good to go.

From here, it’s Copilot, but in Telegram. You can ask the bot questions and queries for a variety of subjects and tasks, and the bot will respond in kind. This version of the bot is connected to the internet, so it can look up 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, the iOS app, or the Android app.

There’s isn’t much here that’s particularly Telegram-related, other than a function that will share an invite to your friends to try Copilot. You also only have 30 “turns” per day, so just keep that in mind before you get too carried away with chatting.

At the end of the day, this seems to be a play by Microsoft to get Copilot in the hands of more users. Maybe you wouldn’t download the Copilot app yourself, but if you’re an avid Telegram user, you may be curious enough to try using the bot in between conversations. I suspect this won’t be the last Copilot integration we see from Microsoft, as the company continues to expand its AI strategy.