On its 7th anniversary, Telegram announced that its apps on iOS and Android platforms would support video calls. In a blog post, the messaging app highlighted the need for “face-to-face communication,” which has arisen due to the pandemic situation. The video calling feature is one that many users had been asking Telegram to add.
How does Telegram’s new video features work?
Accessible and simple, yet sophisticated
Telegram users can go over to their contacts profile page,
- Click on the new video call icon beside the call icon,
- Wait for your friend to receive the video call, and Voila!
- Yes, it works like most other video calling apps but,
Telegram has also considered the following features,
- Switching video on and off anytime during the video or voice calls, and
- “Like all other video content on Telegram, video calls support picture-in-picture mode.” Picture-in-Picture mode allows users to interact with the rest of the Telegram app, with the video call overlaid as a pop-up screen on top.
Like the app itself, every action related to the video calling feature is intuitive.
Truly secure video calls
They specifically said that
“the current global lockdown highlighted the need for a trusted video communication tool.”
Additionally, they stated that
“video calls in 2020 are much like messaging in 2013. There are apps that are either secure or usable, but not both.”
They promised to bring secure video calls in 2020, three months later, they have done so.
Like the voice calls released back in 2017, Telegram protects video calls with end-to-end encryption. To confirm if the encryption is active, users must compare the four emojis displayed on the top-right of the video calling screen. If the caller’s and receiver’s emojis match, the call is “100% secured by time-tested encryption also used in Telegram’s Secret Chats and Voice Calls.”
No group video calls as of now
Not to burst your bubble, but all the info we provided above is only for one-on-one video calls. This update will still consider the video call feature as an alpha version so that users can expect improvements over the coming months. The ‘improvements’ are sure to include group video calling as two blog posts already mention that the feature is incoming.
Telegram prides itself as a fast and secure, not for profit, messaging service. Now, the app looks to extend that philosophy to video calling features too.
Along with the one-on-one video calling update, the app will also see a new batch of animated emojis. Sending these emojis as a single emoji in chat will show the animated version on the chat screen.