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Telegram Is Launching ‘Secure’ Group Video Call Feature This Year

Messaging app Telegram is developing a group video calling service which the company announced today is due to launch later this year. It says the current options provide either protection or usability, but that both will be available in its version. Telegram revealed the plans in addition to news that it surpassed 400 million active monthly users, doubling its user base in two years.

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Telegram’s statement that current community video calling services provide either protection or usability is a user-friendly Zoom not-so-subtle swipe that has been hit by several security scandals in recent months. Critics noted that the service’s claims to provide end-to-end encryption were misleading, and its default privacy settings made it easy for uninvited users to tap into video calls. That said, Telegram has also partly faced its share of security community criticism, as its end-to-end encryption is not enabled by default.

Since passing 300 million users it reached the 400 million user mark a year, according to Telegram. To hit the mark means its user base has doubled since 2018, when it had 200 million active monthly users. The company said it’s seeing at least 1.5 million new users sign up daily for the service, and it’s the most downloaded social media app in over 20 countries. But its user base also pales compared to WhatsApp, which as of February this year reported 2 billion users.

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Telegram also outlined a series of new features alongside its monthly active user announcement, which it is releasing today. Users can now add educational snippets to the quizzes generated on the app, a new directory is available to search the 20,000 stickers on Telegram, and the company is introducing new functionality to its macOS application as well. Complete descriptions of the latest features are available on Telegram’s blog.