Telegram Launches Videoconferencing App to Tackle Zoom, Others
By Adedapo Adesanya
Popular social networking app, Telegram, has introduced end-to-end encrypted video calls that will rival other players such as Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp among others.
Telegram is introducing end-to-end encrypted video calls on its platform as the chat app completes seven years. Right now, the feature will be available in alpha mode on its Android app, while iOS users might have to wait for a little while to get this feature.
Currently, a user can only do one-on-one video calls, but the company says that it will introduce group video chat in the coming months. Telegram‘s competitor, WhatsApp, already offers group calls with up to eight people on all mobile platforms.
Telegram says all calls are end-to-end encrypted and a user can verify that with the chat partner through four emojis shown on your screen.
All video calls are protected with end-to-end encryption,” Telegram wrote in a blog post. “To confirm your connection, compare the four emoji shown on-screen for you and your chat partner – if they match, your call is 100 per cent secured by time-tested encryption also used in Telegram’s Secret Chats and Voice Calls”
The company said that it had submitted a version of the app with video calls on the Apple App Store before it submitted the Android version to the Google Play Store. However, Apple failed to approve the app in time, so iOS users will have to wait until the app is approved.
Telegram has more than 400 million users all over the world and the platform claims that it’s one of the top 10 downloaded apps all over the world to stay in touch with people.
The move puts Telegram in direct competition with Apple’s FaceTime as well as Zoom, both of which have seen increased usage because of the work-from-home and stay-at-home orders that have been put in place since the pandemic started.
“The upcoming feature will allow the app to jump into the videoconferencing market, which has become more crucial as people stay at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” it added.
Telegram was founded by two Russian brothers, Nikolai and Pavel Durov, in 2013 with its headquarters in London and operational centre in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).