Telegram says “private” group video calling is the need of the hour though it isn’t sharing any more details just yet.
Spurred by popular demand, WhatsApp-rival Telegram will soon introduce a group calling feature that would apparently offer a high level of utility and security for its growing user base across the world. That’s 400 million (and counting) monthly active users globally, as per new data released by Telegram. Telegram says “private” group video calling is the need of the hour though it isn’t sharing any more details just yet. All we know for now is that Telegram is looking to launch it sometime this year.
“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 in a blog post.
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Telegram’s announcement that it is working on a group video calling feature comes around the same time that Facebook has also confirmed that WhatsApp will allow users to privately video and voice call with up to eight people — which is double the existing number — starting this week. Facebook itself has launched a dedicated tool called Messenger Rooms, that will allow “anyone” to video chat with up to 50 people. Though Messenger Rooms video and voice calls won’t be end-to-end encrypted like WhatsApp — or Telegram.
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The ongoing pandemic situation has led to a surge in video calling globally, which is why more and more tech companies are now working on either introducing the feature or increasing the number of participants in their existing products. There’s growing demand for video calling platforms now, as more and more people are forced to stay cooped up inside their homes, for work, education, or simply to stay connected with their near and dear ones while practicing social distancing to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Zoom is a classic example. The cloud-based video conferencing platform has witnessed a meteoric rise in these unprecedented times, on the back of ease of use and host of features, though it’s also a privacy nightmare to an extent that the Government of India has even released an advisory, advising individuals against using it.
While both WhatsApp and Telegram can’t beat Zoom in terms of the number of people that they can allow to video call simultaneously anytime soon, they’ll be playing on an entirely different field to make a selling — user privacy. With WhatsApp increasing the number of participants and Telegram looking to introduce group video calling soon, average users looking to connect with friends and family, simply don’t need to look elsewhere anymore.
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