Messaging app Telegram is testing end-to-end encrypted video calling, the company said on Friday in a blog post. The company said that while the feature is immediately available to all users, the video calling feature is still in its alpha stage, indicating that it will update the feature for more stability. The blog post said that users would be able to verify that their call is secure by comparing a series of four emojis on participants’ screens. Telegram also published an API for video calling, and said, “Video calls will receive more features and improvements in future versions, as we work toward launching group video calls in the coming months.”
The company had said that it would launch video calling this year in April. In July, Telegram announced that it was expanding filesharing limits to 2GB per file from 1.5GB — significantly higher than WhatsApp’s 16MB limit for videos. In May, the Delhi High Court ordered Telegram to hand over information on people pirating newspapers on its app. The company, which is based in Dubai, responded neither to the lawsuit nor to our query about it.
The app was developed by Russian brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov. “Pavel Durov, who shares our vision, supplied Telegram with a generous donation, so we have quite enough money for the time being,” Telegram said of its business model in an FAQ. “If Telegram runs out, we will introduce non-essential paid options to support the infrastructure and finance developer salaries. But making profits will never be an end-goal for Telegram.”