A Year Later, Telegram Finally Launches the Group Video Calls It Promised

A Year Later, Telegram Finally Launches the Group Video Calls It Promised
Photo: Lionel Bonaventure / AFP, Getty Images

The day that Telegram gets into group video calling has finally arrived. In case you forgot, that’s OK. It has been more than a year since the company announced it was working on the feature. But hey, better late than never, right?

In its newest blog, Telegram said that its app’s latest update would enable group video calls on all devices, including tablets and desktops. Telegram explained that while audio-only participants in group calls are unlimited, currently only the first 30 people to join a group call can choose to turn on video. Nonetheless, the company announced that this limit is expected to “increase soon as voice chats take on streaming games, live events, and more.”

Considering how long it took Telegram to roll out group video calls in the first place — it originally planned to launch the feature in 2020 — we’ll take “soon” with a grain of salt.

The company also unveiled a slew of other new features for its group video calls. You can pin a video, for instance, if you want it to stay focused as more users join the call with video. Users can also share their camera feed and their screen at the same time. Interestingly, Telegram announced new noise suppression options, with a particular emphasis on food.

“We’ve improved noise suppression in voice chats to keep everyone’s audio clear and crisp, even when you’re eating something crispy. We’ve also added a toggle to turn noise suppression off in settings–for those times when munching has meaning,” Telegram said.

I mean, I imagine the company thought of this with virtual dinners or hangouts in mind. While I’ve never actually eaten a bag of chips while on a video call with friends, I have certainly thought about it. No shame there. I’m not sure if I would actually feel comfortable eating while on a video call, but it’s nice to have options.

Group video calls weren’t the only thing Telegram rolled out in recent days. The company also added animated backgrounds to its app, which are gradient wallpapers that are algorithmically generated and move every time you send a message. You can also choose to create your own background and share your background with others. If you’re a bot fan, Telegram has added a menu button that lets you browse and send commands to make it easier to communicate with them.

You read more about Telegram’s other app updates here.