Telegram is this week celebrating reaching 400 million monthly users, while at the same time promising a new feature arriving in 2020 that’s sure to push the service’s popularity even higher.
As Telegram founder Pavel Durov reveals in a blog post, the service has increased its user base from 300 million to 400 million monthly users in less than a year. At least 1.5 million new users are thought to be joining every day to take advantage of secure instant messaging and voice over IP (VoIP) calls. Now we’re set to get a new feature added to the service before the year is over: secure group video calls.
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing everyone to stay at home, video calls have become increasingly important. As Durov explains, “The current global lockdown highlighted the need for a trusted video communication tool. 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.”
Video chat services such as Zoom have surged in popularity in recent weeks, but also faltered due to lapses in security leading to Zoom-bombing becoming a well-known term. Telegram is aiming to offer an alternative we can trust is secure, but we don’t know when it will arrive. According to Durov, we’ll be the first to know when it’s ready, but to stop asking him to confirm a launch date. It could therefore be the case that Telegram video calls don’t arrive until the lockdown has started to ease and people are allowed back outside again, but we’ll just have to wait and see.