Telegram Logo LifestyleSource: Chris Wedel/Android Central

What you need to know

  • Telegram has finally added the ability to make group video calls to its mobile and desktop apps.
  • Group video calls are limited to the first 30 people who join a voice chat.
  • The latest Telegram update also adds animated backgrounds, message animations, and more.

Telegram, which is one the best Android messaging apps, is rolling out a new update that finally lets users turn voice chats in any group into group video calls. The feature is now available on all devices — including tablets and desktops. Telegram says group video calls will "bring voice chats to a whole new level, ready for online classes, business meetings and family gatherings."

Telegram Group Video CallsSource: Telegram

Although there is no limit on the number of people that can join an audio call, video is currently available only for the first 30 participants. However, Telegram is working on increasing this limit "soon." To begin a group voice chat, open the three-dots menu in the profile of any group where you are an admin and tap the "Voice Chat" button. Once users join and turn on their cameras, you can tap on any video to make it fullscreen. Users can also choose to share their screen during a group call by tapping on the "Share Screen" option from the three-dots menu.

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Group video chats have been optimized for both portrait and landscape orientation on the best Android tablets. Once you open the side panel, you can see a split-screen view of the video grid, along with a list of participants. On desktop, group chats open in a separate window and offer a selective screensharing feature, making it possible for you to broadcast an individual program instead of the entire screen.

The latest Telegram update also makes it the first messaging app to offer animated backgrounds for chats. You can access animated backgrounds by heading over to Chat Settings > Change Chat Background on Android devices. You can even create your own animated backgrounds and share them with friends and family.