Online messaging platform Telegram, a close competitor of WhatsApp has been trailing behind for a while. In a power move recently, they aimed to close the gap between the two. The latest announcement is of an end to end encrypted video call feature on Telegram at the occasion of their 7 years of successful operation. This feature, however, has been present on their more popular counterpart, WhatsApp, since around 2016. Both the mobile app and the desktop version of Telegram are expected to get this update. The upcoming update is in alpha mode and will be available for both Android and iOS users alike.
Telegram will roll out this feature of video call functionality with the version 7 of the application. They state that just like other video call apps and features, there is a picture in picture mode allowing users to multi-task on their device while attending the call face to face at the same time. Telegram recently stated on 14th August that “you can start a video call from your contact’s profile page, and switch video on or off at any time during voice calls.” In their own words, the picture in picture mode will allow “you to scroll through chats and multitask while maintaining eye contact.”
They even emphasize a lot on the added security with the end to end encryption. This provides assurance to users about their privacy, similar to the one available with their voice call feature. They say that the Telegram app will depict 4 emojis for all the call participants. If the emojis match, users can rest assured that the video call is securely encrypted. Telegram, in fact, instructs users that “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.”
New Emoji Feature
Apart from this much needed feature, Telegram also added new animated emoji options for the popular ones. It is a fun feature wherein if users type in any of those emojis, a larger animated variant will appear. Users will have the option to choose the animated variant instead of the regular emoji in their chats.
Previously, Telegram had also rolled out new features allowing users to add profile videos and upgraded the People Nearby features. They had even rolled out a feature allowing unlimited file sharing, only constraint being the file size of maximum 2 GB per file.
With the growing demand for video call and conference apps, it seems Telegram is finally giving WhatsApp some challenge. The company was quoted stating that “Telegram has never advertised and every user has come to the app because of a recommendation from someone they trust. Strong principles and quality features speak for themselves, and millions of you listened. We’ve heard you as well, and will continue to develop features that make Telegram much more than just a messaging app.”