For those who have been using Discord, one of the best features that users enjoy is an always-on voice chat. Now popular messaging app Telegram is bringing something similar to its almost 500 million years called Voice Chats. It will allow users to go in and out of voice chats as it’s something that will remain on for your group. And since it is near to reaching the half a million, the messaging will soon be monetizing the platform while assuring users that all existing features will be free and that they will not be bringing ads to one-to-one or group chats.
Telegram’s new Voice Chat feature will appear at the top of existing group chats and on the desktop version, there’s a push-to-talk key. Well, you’ll see it if you’re part of the initial thousands that have the feature and if the admin on your group chat has enabled it. Basically you can talk to the people in your group but unlike voice or video calls, members have to do it one-by-one. It’s also always-on so anytime someone needs to say something, they are free to use it.
There’s also a voice chat overlay for Android which is a system-wide floating widget which shows you who’s talking and lets you operate the mic and mute options while Telegram is running in the background and you’re doing something. The Telegram update also brings other new features like sticker outlines as they quickly load onto your chat box, SD Card Storage for your media and files, new animations and animated emoji, and the launch of a pubic Bug and Suggestions Platform.
The other major announcement from Telegram is that they are planning to monetize the platform as they reach almost 500 million users. But before you panic and think that your encrypted, secure, and ad-free messaging app is about to majorly change, founder Pavel Durov has some assurances for its users. For one, all existing features will still be free. The other is that they’re not selling the app, like what WhatsApp did. Durov has been highly critical of the WhatsApp founders’ move to sell out to Facebook.
How they’ll do it isn’t fully clear now but one way is introducing its own ad platform but this is only for their public one-to-many channels and will not apply to one-to-one and group chats. They will also monetize premium stickers “with additional expressive features” and they will be sharing profits with the artists of course. We’ll probably find out more by next year.