Every so often, someone comes up with an idea so simple yet so ingenious that even the giants scramble to copy it or even buy it. That was the case with TikTok and history seems to repeat itself with Clubhouse. Now almost everyone from Facebook to Twitter is trying to make their own version of the increasingly popular mass voice chat. Unsurprisingly, Telegram, which has been stepping up its game since the WhatsApp brouhaha earlier this year, is jumping on the train as well in its latest update to its Voice Chat feature.
Voice Chats actually arrived late last year as Telegram’s version of a group call, which is confusingly different from the already existing Group Call feature. It offered simpler controls but, at the same time, accommodated more participants that went beyond your Telegram Groups. With Voice Chat 2.0, Telegram is expanding that to potentially millions of participants.
Voice Chat now supports limitless numbers for both channels and public groups, pretty much like what Clubhouse does. Such chats are, by default, temporary may be recorded for posterity and clearly marked as such to avoid privacy misunderstandings. Almost like Zoom and its kin, there is even a “raise hand” function for more interactive participation.
The growing number of Clubhouse feature clones is probably indicative of where social networks and messaging services are heading. And while Clubhouse is still invite-only on iOS, the likes of Telegram Voice Chats 2.0 are already rolling out to the general public.
The latest Telegram update also brings a few features unrelated to voice chats. Forwarded messages can be canceled before they actually get sent, in case of an accident, and you won’t have to restart from the beginning when you stop playing a long voice message. Android users also get a special treat, allowing them to choose which action to take when swiping left on a chat in the list.