Popular messaging app Telegram says it will soon add support for group video calls. This comes alongside Facebook’s announcement yesterday of a new “Messenger Rooms” competitor to Zoom and Group FaceTime.
In a blog post, Telegram says that it will add support for group video calls — with an emphasis on security — later this year:
What’s next, you might ask? 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.
It’s not surprising to see Telegram, which bills itself as a secure messaging platform, focus on the encryption side of its video calling tools. As we’ve covered numerous times, Zoom has come under scrutiny for its lack of security and questionable privacy practices.
Elsewhere in the blog post, Telegram touts that it now has 400 million monthly users, up from 300 million a year ago. The Telegram app for Mac has also been updated with new features:
Users of Telegram for macOS can now access Shared Media straight from the redesigned profile pages. Those who have a lot of Folders may like the new folder sidebar with icons in the style of Telegram Desktop.
Just yesterday, Facebook launched Messenger Rooms as its own video chat alternative to Group FaceTime and Zoom. The Messenger Rooms platform is quite limited compared to Zoom and even Group FaceTime, though the company says improvements are coming soon, including integration with Instagram and WhatsApp.
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