Telegram Just Launched A Major New Feature To Beat Zoom

Tech World

Aug. 18, 2020, 4:07 p.m.

Secure communications app Telegram just added video calling to its feature set, and it’s end-to-end encrypted, beating Zoom.

Since coronavirus lockdowns started to take place across the world, secure video calling is in high demand. As an alternative to Zoom, many people are using end-to-end encrypted apps such as WhatsApp, FaceTime or Signal to speak to friends and family face-to-face.

Now, there’s another option—secure communications app Telegram just added video calling to its feature set, available on both iOS and Android. The new feature is also super secure—like Signal and WhatsApp and unlike Zoom (yet), video calls will be end-to-end encrypted.

It’s just one-to-one for now, but group calling is due to launch “in the coming months,” Telegram said in a blog

Using the Telegram video calling feature

Telegram will allow you to start a video call from your contact's profile page, and switch video on or off at any time during voice calls. Video calls support picture-in-picture mode, allowing you to scroll through chats and multitask while “maintaining eye contact,” Telegram said.

A recent report by Android Police demoed a beta version of the video calling feature on an Android device.

Describing the voice calling functionality, Android Police says the beta version offers “options to flip between front and rear cams, turn off video, mute, and hang up. Tapping the window in the bottom right switches between the two participants.”

WhatsApp/Zoom alternative?

Telegram is growing in popularity, now boasting around 400 million users. But until now, as Forbes’ Zak Doffman points out in his excellent WhatsApp alternatives article, Telegram’s big downside has so far been that it’s not end-to-end encrypted by default—although it also has a “secret” person-to-person chat option which is end-to-end encrypted but limited to a single device on each side.

As a secure option, the new Telegram feature beats Zoom, which is not yet end-to-end encrypted, and it is on a par with Signal which only offers one-to-one video calls. Sure, it’s not as feature-rich as WhatsApp—which allows you to have eight people on a video call, expanding to 50 if you are happy to transfer to Facebook’s Messenger Rooms—but it’s certainly an alternative if the Facebook brand isn’t for you. Even more so when Telegram adds the group chat option.

For ultimate security and end-to-end encryption by default, my personal favorite is Signal. But Telegram’s new video feature is worth a try, especially when that group chat option drops.

Source: forbes

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.