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Buttons in Telegram Bots

There are two types of buttons that bots can show when sending messages: inline buttons (which are shown below the sent message) or keyboard buttons (which are shown next to the message input.)

Inline buttons

Inline buttons are shown together with the messages.

Callback button

When a callback button gets pressed, the bot receives an update; then the bot can can edit a message or react in any other way.

A special action that the bot can do when the button pressed is showing a notification or an alert.

When receiving the updates, the program can identify the pressed button by a special parameter which is specified while creating the button.

URL button

A button that acts like a link.

In Bot API, such button turns into a user mention button if you specify tg://user?ID=123456789 as the URL. In Telegram API, user mention button is built in a separate way.

Link below the message

Switch-to-inline button

A button that opens bot inline mode. You can choose whether this button will open inline mode in the same chat or open a chat selection dialog first. You can also choose the text query which will show next to the bot username after the button is clicked (the user may change it afterwards.)

Request peer button

A button that allows the user to send a bit of info about any of their chats. When clicked, it shows a chat selection dialog.

You can configure this button flexibly: for example, the chat selection may include only channels with usernames or groups where the user is an admin.

Other inline butons

There are more, rather uncommon, buttons:

  • Callback game button. Opens an HTML game.
  • Pay button. Used for integrated payments.
  • Web view button. Opens bot web interface.
  • Login URL button. Used for authorization on sites. For example, official @discussbot utilized it before native comments appeared in Telegram. The button works similarly to Telegram Login Widget but doesn't require to enter the phone number and confirm the authorization.

Keyboard buttons

The second type of buttons is the keyboard buttons. Unlike inline buttons, they are shown below the message input field (in web versions they are expanded when clicked on ⌘). When pressing a keyboard button, the user simply sends its text.

In Telegram mobile apps, keyboard buttons replace the keyboard; however, the user is able to hide them and see the regular keyboard again.

Apart from sending the text, a keyboard button may do one of the following:

  • Ask the account phone number.
  • Ask the user's geolocation.
  • Open a poll creation menu.

Of course, these actions require confirmation from the user.

There is a "resize keyboard" option which determines whether the button keyboard should have flexible height. For some reason it is off by default, so the buttons look stretched:

Keyboard buttons can be shown only with sending a message. A bot can send keyboard buttons that will hide (but not disappear) after use.

In groups, keyboard buttons are visible to all members by default. Alternatively, a bot can show a set of buttons only to mentioned users, that are:

  • The ones whose usernames are included in the message text.
  • The sender of the message to which the bot is replying.

Button layouts

Both inline buttons and keyboard buttons may be aligned in multiple rows.

A row may contain up to 8 buttons. The total limit of buttons shown at once is 100.

If you place multiple buttons in a row, you should make sure that their labels look OK in the mobile apps: the long labels get truncated.