In Telegram, the practice of hijacking usernames is common. In the chat or channel adds bots. The owner, trying to fend off them, transfers the chat or channel to private, thereby losing the username that the interception program takes.
There is also a method where, through bots, a large number of messages are written to the user’s personal messages. This bothers the user, and during the change of username he is stolen.
But now Telegram is struggling with this. When an occupied username become free, it now stays reserved for about 15-30 minutes. During that time:
- If the username belonged to a group/channel, the admins can put it back on the same group/channel.
- The user who freed the username (removed it from their personal account, group or channel) can occupy it again — with their personal account or any group/channel.
- Everyone else can see the username is free, but gets «Please try later» (FLOOD_WAIT) if they try to occupy it.
This way, a popular username won’t be immediately squatted if its owner removes it for a moment by mistake or to move it elsewhere.