During the Covid-19 pandemic , our days were "enriched" with video calls . Ad hoc services, such as Houseparty, spread like wildfire and Whatsapp promptly adapted by increasing the maximum number of participants in group video calls to eight. The only one that was left behind is Telegram , which however should soon introduce the functionality of group video calls within its own application.
Birth and growth of Telegram
Telegram is a cloud-based, non-profit messaging and broadcasting app . The main features are the ability to exchange messages in large groups of up to 200,000 participants. On January 12, 2021, the application reached 500 million monthly active users, a milestone that the founder, Pavel Durov, attributed to the fact that 25 million new users signed up for the service during the previous 72 hours due to new terms and conditions of WhatsApp.
The achievement of this objective, however, forced the company to insert advertisements . The large number of users, in fact, made server management very expensive. According to Durov, however, such advertisements will not be intrusive and will not negatively affect the user experience.
Video calls on Telegram
The company itself stated on its website that " 2020 highlighted the need to communicate face to face " albeit through a digital device, and had launched one-to-one video calls on both iOS and Android . This addition was announced on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of the company's birth.
In 2013, we started as a small app focused on secure messaging and have since grown to become a platform with over 500 million users. Telegram is now one of the 10 most downloaded apps and is used around the world to stay in touch with family, collaborate with classmates and coordinate colleagues
As you can read in the post published by the same company, it has always focused on word of mouth rather than advertising, focusing on providing a high quality user experience. As for messaging, video calls are also protected by end-to-end encryption, once again focusing on security in the exchange of information between users. The attention that the company has always shown for the privacy of app users is one of the cornerstones and has allowed double growth in 2020 compared to what happened in 2018.
It is possible to switch between an audio call and a video call by turning the device's camera on or off . Video calls also support picture-in-picture mode, which “allows you to scroll through chats and be multitasking while maintaining eye contact”.
Pavel Durov said the addition of group video calls was initially planned for 2020 , but the pandemic, while increasing its usefulness at the same time, slowed its development. The app is thus preparing to challenge market giants such as Zoom and Skype.
The future of messaging apps
But the great enemy remains Whatsapp , the "other" messaging service, although rumors of a possible integration of Facebook and Instagram chats with the green app begin to circulate, having the same owner, Mark Zuckerberg, and this has made a certain slice of users migrate to Telegram.
Speaking of video calling, we'll be adding a video dimension to our voice chats in May, making Telegram a powerful platform for group video calling. Screen sharing, noise cancellation, desktop and tablet support – everything you can expect from a modern video conferencing tool, but with Telegram's secure end-to-end user interface, speed, and encryption
On March 30, 2017 Telegram announced the introduction of point-to-point encrypted voice calls .
On August 15, 2020 , Telegram added video calling with end-to-end encryption like Signal and WhatsApp.
2021 will be the year of the arrival of group video calls , to guarantee an increasingly all-encompassing experience for the user. The company is always working to develop and add new features even to video calls and updates will soon arrive to the more than 500 million active monthly users worldwide.