Telegram adds group video calls and animated backgrounds

Telegram has announced a couple of significant updates to its messaging client across different platform. The first is a pretty significant upgrade to video calling and the other is to the UI and design.

The video calling side of things in Telegram is getting lots of new changes, many of which seem inspired by Apple’s updates to FaceTime during WWDC 2021.

Telegram now gets group video call support. Users have to initiate a group voice call and then tapping the camera icon will automatically place you in a group video call. While there are no limits to the number of group voice call participants on Telegram, group video calls are currently limited to 30 people.

In addition to just sharing your camera feed, you can also share your screen with others on the video call. On smartphones and tablets, by default your entire display is shared. On desktop, users have a choice of sharing the entire screen or a particular window.

Telegram adds group video calls and animated backgrounds

Telegram has also added an updated background noise suppression feature to voice chats. Like Apple, Telegram also now offers to turn this off if you want to send all the sound the microphone is capturing without any alterations.

On tablets and desktop, video calls feature large split-screen view of the video grid along with the list of participants. Group video calls on desktop are also a separate window so you can do other things without minimizing the video call.

Aside from the video call features, Telegram is also adding several changes to the UI. There is now support for animated backgrounds, which is a first for a messaging app. The background features spinning color patterns which animate every time you send a message. You can choose your own colors and patterns through the settings. Telegram says these are fairly light on resources so they won’t bog down your performance or consume too much power.

Animated backgrounds created by the user can also be shared with others.

The message sending animation has also been updated and the text, emoji, and stickers now smoothly glide upwards from the text box into the chat, similar to iMessage.

Telegram adds group video calls and animated backgrounds

Aside from these changes, there are also two new app icons on iOS, login info reminders, bot menu to browser the list of commands, and even more animated emoji. Telegram is also releasing tools for developers to create apps that lets people generate custom unique stickers and import them to Telegram in one tap.

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