Group messaging and calling app Telegram has finally introduced video chat to its list of features, in its latest update.
Video chat was originally proposed by the company back in April of 2020, so it's been a long time coming.
While it's easy to think that Telegram may have missed the peak of video chat fever, as the pandemic is (hopefully) dying down, video calling software is actually still on the climb, with Zoom's Q1 2021 figures being higher than ever before.
So, could this be your new video calling service of choice?
What Is Telegram Group Calling Like?
As the world continues to adapt to video calling, both for work meetings and for virtual social events, Telegram has decided to integrate a video option into their chats. This will enable participants to turn on their camera while on an audio call, whether on desktop or tablet.
Voice chats can be held with an unlimited amount of participants on Telegram, however only the first 30 people to join will be able to take advantage of the new video features, for now. That limit may be lifted in the future, however, as Telegram plans to release further updates, including features for “streaming games, live events and more”.
In addition to the ability to see who you're talking to, Telegram's update also adds the ability to screen-share, and upgraded noise suppression, for better call quality.
Telegram isn't the most well-known messaging/social media platform, so the interface likely won't be as ubiquitous as Facebook or Zoom. However, they're a decently popular platform with consistent updates and unique features like animated emojis and backgrounds.
Telegram prides itself on three specific values: ease of use, message speed, and security. Its clean interface, swift message-send speed, and end-to-end encryption all aim to make the Telegram experience safe and easy — and it hopes its video chat service will be no different. The principles do seem to carry over, as all calls are encrypted, you can seamlessly turn a voice call into a video call (as opposed to having to hang up and start a new call), and the animations of people joining or leaving calls are smooth and sleek. You can also share your screen and camera feed at the same time, if you wish.
What Does This Mean for the Future?
With around 500 million users at its peak and 400 million users currently, Telegram's video calling upgrade might be enough to send it snapping at WhatsApp's heels. And although Telegram's video calling only got released on the 25th of June, they're already promising improvements and updates.
While video calling definitely could have come sooner to the platform, the quality and promises behind Telegram's video chat service make it seem like there's a lot of potential for growth into a serious contender in the video calling world.
If you're interested in other video calling platforms, have a look at our ranking of the top 7 video conferencing apps for 2021.
Average rating given by iOS and Android users in App Store and Google Play Store reviews
The lowest starting price for a paid plan. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
Not yet rated
Overall conference calling
Google Workplace users
Users that need hardware