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Telegram says group video calls are coming later this year

The messaging app also says it now has 400 million monthly users.

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Telegram will add group video calling this year.

César Salza/CNET

To help its users stay in touch during the coronavirus pandemic and after, Telegram will add group video calls this year to its popular messaging app, the company said Friday. Telegram also noted that its app -- available on Android, iOS, Windows and Mac, as well as through a web browser -- now has 400 million monthly users, up from 300 million from a year ago.

Right now Telegram lets you send messages and place voice calls, and it has a secret chats option that uses end-to-end encryption. This year already Telegram added a quiz mode to its polls and expanded its educational tools. Telegram also now includes a new sticker directory to help you more easily find stickers.

Other communications services are also seeing a jump in users. Zoom said it's gained 100 million new users in the last three weeks, up to 300 million users, and Google said its Meet video chat service is gaining 2 million new users a day. Google Meet recently added grid view, for those who like Zoom's Brady Bunch style of showing participants. 

Facebook said more than 700 million accounts participate in voice and video calls every day on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp and that the number of calls has more than doubled in many countries since the coronavirus outbreak began. On Friday, Facebook unveiled the Messenger Rooms feature on Messenger, which lets you join group video calls even if you don't have a Facebook account.

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