Quickie: Telegram Bio ChainsNENUZHENCANAL
TL;DR here's the full list of users: https://pastebin.com/wJcWfA1L. This list isn't entirely accurate since there's a break in the chain, but you can read more about that in the article below.
I've always been amused by bio chains. There's something about successfully organizing dozens, if not hundreds, of people on the Internet to make a cooperative effort (which is a notoriously difficult task) that evokes feelings of child-like joy when pulled off correctly.
Twitter is one of the first social networks where this phenomenon really took off. Mind you, it's only popular with obscure subcultures, but Twitter's extensive search tools make finding such chains an easy task. Telegram, while having a very powerful search function as compared to other messengers, simply cannot make an overarching search tool like Twitter, automatically making such bio chains impossibly hard to find. You either come across them in the wild or spend entire afternoons only to find several dead ends and half-broken chains.
This isn't to say that bio chains don't exist. In fact, this article is about two massive chains combined into one (C1 and C2) that square up to even the largest Twitter bio chains (with 212 accounts participating, and possibly even more).
My interest in Telegram bio chains peaked when I recently saw @JSPiRit1337 in a group chat. Along with promoting his channel in his bio, he linked to @pika_chuu, whose bio is "Follow the @OneraZan". This is the start* of a bio chain of 78 accounts: C1.
*Side note: I'll describe how I found the chains chronologically. Due to the fact that we can never truly know who the originator and finisher of a bio chain is (since they're usually loop-able one-way chains), this is the most accurate way to follow bio chains without breaking the sequencing.
C1 is the first bio chain I found. It starts with @JSPiRiT1337, and goes on until @millicow. He's user №84 in this chain and also C1's breaking point. This is because he doesn't link to another user, but to @Bio_Chain_2, a group chat where C2 is organized.
C2 starts in a group chat where new members can easily join the chain. This means the chain can be expanded at any time, but it also throws a spanner in the works for me, since the Pastebin link I provided can be voided at any time if another user joins the chain. So, for the purposes of this article, the next best link from C1 to C2 (as of October 13) is @AvinashReddy3108.
C2 is much larger than C1, with 144 users in it. Unlike C1, which breaks at C2, C2 actually loops around. But the way it loops around is quite interesting, because, if we follow C2 to the end, we encounter a chain collision.
The last user in C2 (@Zenexer) points towards @pika_chuu. But that shouldn't be possible, since @JSPiRiT1337 (the supposed start of C1) also points to him. The result is a chain collision: two users pointing towards one. And since C2 is a loopable chain, we can come to the conclusion that @JSPiRiT1337 is an outsider (no references from C2, although he could be part of a larger outside chain I'm not aware of), C1 is really just a small part of C2, and C2 is a true loopable chain (we can't see who started it easily) with 211 accounts currently participating.
This is the largest Telegram bio chain that I could find (and the only one at that), and it's interesting to see how people, regardless of native language, have joined this collaborative effort to waste curious people's time.
All in all, this experiment was an interesting experience for me, and an excuse to spend several afternoons doing my favorite things: coding in Python, writing articles and listening to my Spotify recommendations.