Although video conferencing has become almost a fact of life these days and “Zoom fatigue” has started to become a real problem, there are still companies and services that are trying to compete or even unseat the leaders in that space. And it’s not just the usual culprits of Google, Facebook, and Microsoft either but other more focused services are also jumping on board. The latest that will be joining the bandwagon is Telegram who will be putting a different twist to the idea next month.
Telegram originally planned to add group video chat capabilities to the service last year when the first wave of lockdowns and work from home arrangements hit people around the globe. For better or worse, Telegram delayed that rollout and perhaps avoided being drowned by the torrent of announcements and features coming from bigger companies. The WhatsApp brouhaha earlier this year also put Telegram under the spotlight, which meant now would be the perfect time to roll out something big like this.
That said, Telegram’s group video calls might not rival Zoom one-on-one, at least not based on what CEO Pavel Durov said. He teased that the service will be adding a video dimension to its voice chats. If that’s the case, it might be more like a video Clubhouse than Zoom.
Telegram’s Voice Chats 2.0 was just announced last month and was its take on the audio-only social platform popularized by Clubhouse. If its group video conferencing feature will be built on top of that, it will be turning the tables on the Zoom convention, with “attendees” muted by default and only the speakers or organizers have the floor. At least until it’s time for some Q&A and attendees are given the mic temporarily.
Of course, Zoom and others like it can be set up to do the same anyway. What Telegram will be promoting, of course, will be the security of its feature, thanks to encryption, and other niceties like noise cancellation and, at least according to Durov, speed.