Telegram Adds Video Calls To Its Messaging App

Messaging app Telegram announced Friday it had launched a video call feature on its apps for both Apple Inc’s AAPL and Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL GOOG mobile operating systems.

What Happened

The Berlin-headquartered company said in a statement the video calls would be protected with end-to-end encryption, which is also used on platform’s Secret Chats and Voice Calls. The feature is currently in the alpha version.

The company plans to launch group video calls in the coming months and also improve upon the video calls feature. 

Telegram gives stiff competition to Facebook Inc.'s FB WhatsApp messaging platform. Last year, when WhatsApp announced a 100 MB cap on the size of file transfers on social media, it was quickly berated by the rival app.

Why It Matters

As of July 2020, Telegram had 400 million monthly active users, while WhatsApp had 2 billion users. The Messenger app from Facebook had another 1.3 billion, as per data portal Statista.

Telegram had to refund investors based in the United States after its efforts to launch a cryptocurrency called Grams ran into opposition by the Securities and Exchange Commission in May. 

The company abandoned both Grams and its next-generation blockchain platform called TON after an adverse U.S. court decision in the same month.

At the time, the company’s founder Pavel Durov bemoaned the world’s dependency on the U.S. for finance and technology. “The 96% of the world’s population living elsewhere – are dependent on decision makers elected by the 4% living in the US,” he said. 

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