Telegram Messenger is aiming to introduce a ‘secure group video calls’ feature on the app this year. The development was announced by the company last week, where it indicated that due to the novel coronavirus lockdown across several countries, there’s a “need for a trusted video communication tool.” Telegram also announced the rollout of several other features including a search directory for stickers, an upgraded Quiz Mode, and new animations for the app. The company further stated that the messaging app has over 400 million monthly users, up from 300 million a year ago. Additionally, Telegram introduced several other features including Chat Folders, Channel stats and more at the beginning of April.
Secure group video calls
In a statement published last week, Telegram Messenger indicated that the company is aiming to help its users to stay in touch during the coronavirus pandemic and after. To achieve this, Telegram will add a ‘secure group video calls’ feature, however, the exact date of its launch is not yet confirmed. It is also unclear how many people can participate in the group video call simultaneously.
“Video calls in 2020 are much like messaging in 2013. There are apps that are either secure or usable, but not both. We’d like to fix that, and we will focus on bringing you secure group video calls in 2020,” Telegram said.
Telegram now has over 400,000,000 monthly active users. Thank you all! 🎉 https://t.co/F3qu3lAesu
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) April 24, 2020
Notably, Telegram’s competitor WhatsApp recently announced that the Facebook-owned messaging app is expanding the group video and voice calls participants from four to up to eight people.
— Facebook (@Facebook) April 24, 2020
Back in January, Telegram introduced a Quiz Mode to its messaging platform that was aimed at education channels to create objective-based learning through multiple-choice questions. The company is now rolling out an update that would allow users to add explanations which will appear right after a person responds to the quiz questions. Telegram says that this will enable participants to “learn from their mistakes” or give them “more context.”
Moreover, Telegram announced a competition for creators of Educational Tests with a prize worth EUR 400,000 (roughly Rs. 3.29 crores).
“To take part, use @QuizBot to create and publish an original educational test on any subject at any difficulty level, in any language. Feel free to choose anything from basic Medieval European History in English to Mikrobiologie fur Experten auf Deutsch – and add any media you require to your questions, but make sure all intellectual property rights are respected,” Telegram shared.
Telegram added that the quizzes will be published in a searchable directory. Users can subscribe to the @contest channel on the messaging app for updates on this.
Sticker Directory, Attachment Menu on Android and macOS Improvements
Meanwhile, Telegram is rolling out a sticker-directory where users can browse and search over 20,000 free stickers created by the company. To access the directory, users need to select the sticker option in a chat. After selecting the sticker option, users need to click on the ‘+’ icon to use the directory.
Additionally, Android and macOS Telegram users are also getting new updates that allow users to quickly access their media files. On Android, all sections of the attachment menu are now accessible as “expandable layers” that essentially gives the user a quick preview of the media files they might want to share. Similarly, users of Telegram on macOS can now access Shared Media straight from the profile pages. All the aforementioned features are being rolled out in India as well. Lastly, the company has added new animations on its messaging platform.
The latest updates on Telegram come nearly weeks after the company introduced major upgrades that were aimed at de-cluttering chat screen amid coronavirus pandemic. As users are spending more time on the app, Telegram introduced Chat Folders and Channel Stats features.