Messaging service provider Telegram boosted a feature allowing users to find people nearby, in an effort to encourage connection following the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

In a statement, the company said users will be able to find how close their new contacts are and initiate a chat session with them.

Telegram said it was time for people to make acquaintances, as they were “carefully emerging into this brave new world”, suggesting the move was motivated by the social distancing measures recommended globally in an aim to confine the outbreak.

In another update, users will be able to archive and mute conversations from people who haven’t been added as a contact.

Telegram said another fresh feature allowed users to upload a video to their profile and select from a number of frames for a static profile pictures in messages.

The app will also let people use a media editor to make facial traits look smoother in front-facing pictures.

Telegram’s move appears to be part of a broader strategy to enhance its offering, including around privacy protection, user experience and video features.