Telegram gets video calls, backs them up with end-to-end encryption

The latest Telegram update brings with it a much-awaited feature: the ability to make video calls.

Though restricted to person-to-person at the moment, video calls are finally available on one of the world’s most underrated cross-platform messaging platforms.

The feature is available as an alpha meaning that it is still in early testing even though we already have access to it.

Telegram had promised, back in April as it marked its 400 million users milestone, to introduce secure video calling, something it did last week and has been rolling out to users over the weekend as it celebrated yet another milestone: 7 years of existence.

The app has, for years, allowed users to chat via video in recorded bursts akin to what users are able to do with voice notes.

Telegram says that it is working on availing group video calling in coming months. Rival WhatsApp Messenger allows users to add up to 8 of their contacts to a video call using the “group call” feature.

For person-to-person calls, WhatsApp drops video calls to audio-only calls when the network service is degraded, something that Google’s Duo has also been doing very well and also what we hope Telegram does. Telegram lets users switch between video on and off easily during calls.

Video calls have come in handy since the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic and the mobility restrictions that have come with it that have seen many turn to video calling for meetings, schooling, family gatherings and other personal events.

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