Telegram is looking more and more like a business app

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Although it took a bit longer than expected, video conferencing is now available in Telegram's encrypted messaging app.

According to a new blog post, the service does things a bit differently than its competitors as its new update allows voice chats in any group to seamlessly turn into group video calls once users switch their video on. 

Telegram users also have the option to make any video full screen and if they pin a video, it will stay focused even as new users join the call and turn on their cameras. This could be especially useful during a meeting when you want to stay focused on a presenter or during an online class when you don't want to miss what an instructor is saying.

While the number of participants in voice chats on Telegram are currently unlimited, video is only available for the first 30 people who turn their cameras on. However, the company has said that it will increase this limit soon as voice chats begin being used for live events, streaming games and more.

Worth the wait?

Video call participants can share their screen with other users but unlike traditional video conferencing services that make users choose between sharing their screen or enabling their camera, Telegram allows users to do both at the same time.

Group video calls in Telegram aren't just for smartphones though as the new feature is also supported on both tablets and desktop. As these devices offer more screen real estate, the company has included additional display options and users can open the side panel to see a split-screen view of both the video grid and list of participants in either portrait or landscape orientation.

On desktop, voice chats open in a separate window so that users can type and talk without having to minimize anything. Telegram's desktop app also has selective screen sharing so that users can broadcast an individual program instead of their whole screen which could be useful for hiding a cluttered desktop. The company also revealed that it has improved noise suppression in voice chats so that everyone's audio remains clear and crisp even if their eating.

The improvements Telegram has made to its encrypted messaging app will likely help boost collaboration and the addition of video conferencing to its service across platforms means that users can start using it as a business app if they're so inclined.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.