In April of 2020, Telegram confirmed that it will add a ‘secure group video calling feature’ to its platform, likely inspired by the massive surge in video conferencing as the pandemic forced people into remote work. A few months later in August, Telegram finally enabled one-on-one video calling, but group video call capability was nowhere to be seen. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov has now revealed that group video calling will finally arrive next month. Here’s what Durov wrote on his official Telegram channel:
As per the accompanying video, group video calls on Telegram will have a slightly different approach when it comes to showing the participants. Unlike WhatsApp or Instagram, it appears that Telegram will only show one active tile for the speaker you want to hear, while the remaining participants will be shown in a scrolling list of names when used in portrait orientation on a phone.
At the bottom, you’ll see the mute / unmute button, one for killing your video feed, and another one for leaving the group video call. However, switching to landscape mode changes things a bit, as it provides more screen real estate. In landscape orientation, users will see will one large tile on the left, while the remaining participants’ tiles will appear as a scrolling carousel alongside the right edge. A key difference here is that the remaining tiles will also show a live video feed.
Moreover, Durov has promised that the group video calling experience on Telegram will also offer features such as screen sharing, noise cancellation, and of course, encryption for security. Notably, group video calls will be rolled out for Telegram’s desktop client as well, in addition to phones and tablets.