Popular chat app Telegram had announced earlier this year that it will start offering secure video calling by the end of 2020. “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,” wrote Pavel Durov — Telegram’s co-founder — in a blog post in April. Now it looks like Telegram is ready to take on other video calling apps.
In a blog post marking seven years of its launch, Telegram has announced secure video calls in alpha stage for Android and iOS. Like its audio calls, Telegram’s video calls are end-to-end encrypted and the encryption can be verified by four emojis shown on both users’ screen. Telegram supports only one-to-one video calls at the moment but group calls as well as other features will be launched in coming months.
Along with video calling, Telegram also added more animated emojis.
The number of active monthly Telegram users has gone up from 300 million last year to 400 million. Although the number of users is not comparatively high, Telegram users prefer the app as a way to avoid apps owned by Facebook and Google. With the launch of end-to-end encrypted video calls — especially when it adds group video calling — Telegram will be ready to compete the likes of Zoom, Google, and Microsoft.
A few days ago, paid messaging app Threema also announced video calls with end-to-end encryption.