Popular instant messaging service Telegram is celebrating its seventh anniversary today with some great news for its users. Starting today, Telegram will let users make video calls using its app, which is a long-awaited feature for those using the messaging service.

According to an official blog post, the team behind Telegram decided to implement video calls this year mainly because more people are now using “face-to-face communication” to talk to friends or work from home during the pandemic.

The company notes that the video call feature is still considered an alpha version, but it can already be used by anyone with the latest version of Telegram installed.

2020 highlighted the need for face-to-face communication, and our alpha version of video calls is now available on both Android and iOS. You can start a video call from your contact’s profile page, and switch video on or off at any time during voice calls. Like all other video content on Telegram, video calls support picture-in-picture mode, allowing you to scroll through chats and multitask while maintaining eye contact.

There’s not much you need to know before using Telegram video calls, as the feature works similar to FaceTime or any other video calling app. Once you open the latest version of the Telegram app, you can simply tap the user profile and then select the video call option. According to Telegram, video calls are all protected with end-to-end encryption.

All video calls are protected with end-to-end encryption. To confirm your connection, compare the four emoji shown on-screen for you and your chat partner – if they match, your call is 100% secured by time-tested encryption also used in Telegram’s Secret Chats and Voice Calls.

While the update with video calls was already available on Android since this morning, the Telegram team complained that Apple took a long time to review the latest version of the app — which was only approved and released on the App Store moments ago.

Here’s the original statement from Telegram criticizing Apple’s relationship with developers, which has already been removed from its website:

We would like to apologize to all our iOS users for launching this feature on Android only. Apple has failed to review this update in time, even though we submitted it to the App Store several days before sending it to Google Play. If you’re on iOS and would like to try Telegram Video Calls, you’ll have to wait until Apple lets you — or switch to a platform that has more respect for its users and developers, like Android.

The Telegram platform now has over 400 million users with an app that is one of the 10 most downloaded messaging apps in the world.

You can download Telegram Messenger for free on the iOS App Store.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author