Many people have been disillusioned and disenchanted by Facebook's treatment of Whatsapp privacy features. There has been a mass migration to other messaging apps, most notably towards Telegram. But people who have migrated to other apps have found many of their features to be subpar compared with Whatsapp. The reason being; Whatsapp has been in the market for many years, whereas its competitors were late entrants and also did not have comparable traction with users. The status quo has changed in favour of other apps, but users reluctance is due to the lack of depth and limited qualities of these apps.
Telegram, as mentioned above, has tried to rise above the competition by actively pursuing users who are conscious about their data privacy. The app has revamped its entire unique selling proposition to revolve around the idea of "respect for secrecy". At the same time, Telegram is active in developing specialities that are comparable or better than Whatsapp. One such speciality has been the option to group video call, which was announced recently by Telegram's founder Pavel Durov.
He made the statement via his official Telegram channel in which he said, "We will be adding a video dimension to our voice chats in May, making Telegram a powerful platform for group video calls". He further said, "Screen sharing, encryption, noise-cancelling, desktop and tablet support — everything you can expect from a modern video conferencing tool, but with Telegram-level UI, speed and encryption. Stay tuned!"
Telegram has often made fun of its rivals for introducing critical new features to their apps. Still, in this case, Telegram is the one who has lagged. Even the one-to-one video calls were made available to the users only in August 2020. They did not prioritize group video calls as it has promised its users. In April 2020's blog post, the founder wrote while celebrating 400 million users, "Highlighted the need for a trusted video communication tool" — going on to dub video calls in 2020 "much like messaging in 2013". He also stressed the importance of security in an era of Covid-19. He could be the reason that the video call feature was delayed.
His message of "security in Covid-19" rings a bell with millions of users, especially the professionals and business owners who have more concern for their data. Ever since the Covid-19, and the resultant lockdowns, people have been working from home. Many private and confidential company information is shared on these apps. Many businesses are right to have concerns over their data.
But the company has had to go through quite a few distractions, such as the requirement to raise millions of dollars for debt financing. The company had planned to finance its operations through the latest blockchain technology, but that hit a block wall last year. Then the company sold bonds in the capital market to raise as much as $1 billion.
Telegram has been sketchy about the details on security on video calls, though. The app has announced it will be encrypted but would it be end-to-end encrypted? The company policy doesn't say yet. Zoom is the major competitor for all video-conferencing apps. Zoom has announced an e2e and even plans to become a graphic marketplace where people can interact through videos.
Covid-19 has increased the use of such apps worldwide, and correct usage of such apps with suitable encryption and privacy concerns is essential.