Telegram introduces voice call feature on its app.
Telegram introduces voice call feature on its app. Telegram

Encrypted messaging app Telegram introduced voice calls Thursday, which will start out in Western Europe and roll out globally soon, the company announced in a blog post.

Users can now make end-to-end encrypted calls using the same security method as the app’s Secret Chats. The new feature puts Telegram up with other encrypted messaging apps that already offer voice calls, such as WhatsApp, Signal and Viper.

Read: Signal App Update: How To Make Encrypted, Secure Video Calls

For the upgrade, Telegram changed the key verification mechanism it created in 2013 to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks. For voice calls, all the user and the recipient need to do is compare four emoji over the phone instead of codes or pictures.

This is how the key verification looks like:

voice call emoji telegram
Telegram introduces voice call feature. Telegram

Telegram said, whenever possible, calls will go over to a peer-to-peer connection “using the best audio codecs to save traffic while providing crystal-clear quality.”

“If a peer-to-peer connection can't be established, Telegram will use the closest server to you to connect you with the person you’re calling in the fastest way possible,” the company said. “Unlike other apps, Telegram has a distributed infrastructure all over the world which we’ve already been using to deliver your texts faster than other apps. Now these servers will also be used for calls.”

Read: WhatsApp In London: UK Officials Call For Encryption Backdoor After Westminster Attack

Telegram will also expand its content delivery network around the world in the coming months, getting the connection upto light-speed even in remote areas, the company said.

How To Make Voice Calls On Telegram

When voice calls launch in the U.S., you'll be able to see a phone icon on every profile page. To start a call just tap on the phone icon. Android users can also call from the ‘…’ menu in a chat.

voice call phone icon telegram
Telegram introduces voice call feature on its app. Telegram

If you have an iOS device, once you start making calls, Telegram will offer a tab dedicated to calls, which can be added on the main screen of the app. Another option would be to turn the Calls tab on the right away from the Recent Calls section in settings. For Android users, the call tab is available through the pull-out main menu.

Telegram also allows you to also block those you don’t want calls from, and the option to turn voice calls off completely by blocking everyone.

voice call block telegram
Telegram introduces voice call feature on its app. Telegram

The new update also brings direct control over the quality of videos shared via Telegram.

“For the first time in the history of messaging, you can preview how the recipient will see your video before you send it,” Telegram said.

The app remembers the compression rate after it has been selected and uses it as a default for the future videos you share.