Instant messaging app Telegram is developing a group video calling service. In a recent blog post, the company announced that the new service will be launched later this year.
Taking a not-so-subtle dig at Zoom, which has been hit by multiple privacy and security issues over the recent past, Telegram said the currently available group video calling services offer either security or usability. The company promises to offer both.
“The current global lockdown highlighted the need for a trusted video communication tool. Video calls in 2020 are much like messaging in 2013. There are apps that are either secure or usable, but not both. We’d like to fix that, and we will focus on bringing you secure group video calls in 2020,” Telegram said.
It’s not like Telegram hasn’t had any controversies at all. Its end-to-end encryption is not enabled by default and that has irked the security community. Some countries like China have even banned the app on security grounds.
Back in February 2018, Apple’s AppStore and the Google Play Store had temporarily removed Telegram from their platform because it was serving inappropriate content.
Nevertheless, Telegram is seeing a rapid rise in the user base. The app has now over 400 million monthly users across the world, up from 300 million a year ago.
The company says at least 1.5 million new users sign up for Telegram every day. It is the most downloaded social media app in over 20 countries.
Rival WhatsApp, meanwhile, has over two billion users globally. But unlike WhatsApp, Telegram’s desktop app does not require the phone to have an active internet connection to function. Other interesting Telegram features include folders, cloud storage, and a sticker directory that lists over 20,000 stickers.
Telegram to launch a group video calling feature
Group video calling is a valuable feature of messaging apps. More so in times like this, when people are socially distancing and working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past few weeks, popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Google Duo have made several improvements to their respective group video calling features.
WhatsApp increased the group size limit to a maximum of eight participants, while Google Duo increased that limit to 12 participants. Zoom video calling also became increasingly popular during this lockdown time, although a host of security and privacy flaws has crippled it.
Telegram doesn’t have a group video calling feature on its platform yet but is now gearing up to add one. The company hasn’t revealed any information regarding when the service will release, though. Hopefully, that’ll happen soon.