Why Zoom is shutting down its Chromebook app

Zoom has plans to shut down its Chrome app in August, to enable it to focus on its other applications.

9to5Google recently discovered a notice in the Zoom app detailing that the brand is directing users to begin using the Chrome PWA (progressive web app) ahead of its discontinuation of the Zoom app for Chromebooks.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

“This app will no longer be officially supported after August 2022. Please use the new Zoom for Chrome PWA to join meetings on ChromeOS,” Zoom said in the notice.

The Zoom video conferencing platform, which became popular during the pandemic in 2020 has been compatible with most computing systems. Chromebooks have been especially popular with schools and universities due to their low cost and compatibility with Google’s ChromeOS, TechRadar noted.

However, Google has had plans since August 2020 to discontinue its Chrome apps on all platforms across the board, culminating with the end of support for Chrome apps on ChromeOS in June 2022.

But with the option of either the Chrome PWA or the Android app, accessing Zoom shouldn’t be a problem. Zoom plans to provide some app updates to the web app that makes it easier to use, with a look and feel similar to other platform versions such as Windows and MacOS. It also has various advanced chat features, such as background blur, 9to5Google added.

PWA installation is fairly easy and can be done through most web browsers, such as Chrome. Typically, you can find the installation option by accessing the three-dot icon located at the top right corner of the browser.

Have the app or program you want to install open in the browser tap. If there is no “apps section” in the drop-down menu, you should be able to go directly to an “install app” option. Select install and it should do so automatically.

Once installed, many popular apps will show up as icons on the system dock for easy access. To uninstall just go back to that setting and select uninstall.

Editors’ Choice

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How to join a Zoom meeting

There’s actually more than one way to join a Zoom meeting. And the method you choose depends on the kind of device you have and which type of Zoom software you plan to use.

In this guide, we’ll go over four different ways to join a Zoom meeting. With all of these methods, you’re sure to find one that works for you and your upcoming meetings.

How to join a Zoom meeting in the desktop app

The most obvious way to join a Zoom meeting is via the videoconferencing service’s desktop app. One thing to remember is that you can join a Zoom meeting on the desktop regardless of whether or not you’re signed in to your Zoom account.

If you’re not signed in to your account on the desktop app, simply do the following: Open the Zoom desktop app. Select the Join a meeting button. Enter your Meeting ID and desired display name in the spaces provided. Select any meeting options you want. Select Join. When prompted, enter the meeting passcode provided in your meeting invitation. Select Join meeting.

(You can usually find the Meeting ID in the invitation sent to you by the host of your meeting. It is usually 11 digits long)

If you are signed in to your Zoom account on the desktop app, complete the following steps to join your meeting:

Step 1: Open the Zoom desktop app.

Step 2: On the main screen and under Home, select Join.

Step 3: Enter your Meeting ID and update your display name (if desired) in the spaces provided. Tick the boxes next to any meeting options you want.


Step 4: Select Join.

How to join a Zoom meeting in the mobile app

You can also join meetings via the Zoom mobile app. The instructions for doing on the Android and iOS versions are pretty similar to each other. And so following the steps below should work for you regardless of which operating system you use.

And just like the desktop app, you can join meetings whether you’re signed into a Zoom account or not.

If you’re not signed in, then do the following: Open the Zoom mobile app. Select the Join a meeting button. Enter your Meeting ID. Select any meeting options you want. Then select the Join button. When prompted enter your meeting’s passcode. Select OK.

(The Meeting ID and passcode should be included in the meeting invitation you were sent.)

If you are signed into the mobile app with a Zoom account:

Step 1: Open the Zoom mobile app.

Step 2: Select Join from the main screen.

Step 3: Enter the Meeting ID and select any meeting options you want.

Joining a meeting on the Zoom mobile app for Android.


Step 4: Select Join.

How to join a Zoom meeting in a browser

You don’t have to download the desktop or mobile apps to join a Zoom meeting. Zoom meetings are also accessible via Zoom’s web app.

(Note: You can only attend meetings via the web app if the meeting host has enabled a feature called “Join from your browser.” Otherwise, the following instructions won’t work.)

Here’s how to join a Zoom meeting using Zoom’s web app:

Step 1: Open your web browser, navigate to your meeting invitation, and select the link to your meeting.

Step 2: A new browser tab will open. In this tab, a dialog box may appear asking you to either choose an application to open the meeting or download the Zoom app. You’re not doing either of those, so select the Cancel option in that dialog box.

Selecting the Cancel option to launch the Zoom web app.


Step 3: Navigate to the bottom of that webpage, and select the Join from your browser link.

Selecting the Join From Your Browser option to use the Zoom web app.


Step 4: You’ll immediately be taken to your meeting. You’ll need to select the Audio and Video icons in the lower-left corner to trigger the browser permissions dialog boxes. Once those boxes pop up, select Allow for both of them to enable the use of your microphone and camera. That’s it! Your meeting can now begin.

How to join a Zoom meeting through email

You can also join a meeting directly from the invitation that was emailed to you.

On desktop: Open the email invite in a web browser. Select the blue link under Join Zoom meeting. When a new tab opens a dialog box will pop up. If you have the desktop app installed or want to install it, select the option that either opens the Zoom app or downloads it. If you already have the app, select Choose application. Select Zoom Meetings > Open Link.

On mobile: Open the email invite on your mobile device as you normally would. Select the blue link under Join Zoom meeting. If the mobile app is already installed, the meeting will automatically open in the app.

Editors’ Choice

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Headroom launches to combat Zoom fatigue with AI

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To say that the global pandemic has transformed the workforce would be something of an understatement, with remote work still a reality for millions of people globally. To help with the rapid transition from centralized working environments to a more distributed network of home-working hubs, cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools such as Zoom have shown their worth. But at what cost?

In a world where major businesses, from Salesforce and Microsoft to VMware and Dropbox, have confirmed a permanent shift to a remote-first or hybrid working policy, people are spending less time face-to-face and more time face-to-screen. As such, better and more adaptive virtual collaboration tools will prove to be vital — Zoom fatigue, after all, is very real.

That is precisely what Headroom is setting out to solve, with an AI-powered platform that automates many of the laborious tasks involved in virtual video meetings, and removes some of the stress entailed in catching up with key discussion points.

Headroom was formed in 2020 by a triumvirate of founders with experience in building products at companies such as Google and Magic Leap. CEO Julian Green previously founded an AI-powered photo startup called Jetpac, which Google acquired in 2014. He then went on to become a group product manager at Google, where he launched the Google Cloud Vision API and Android Vision on-device API, as well as overseeing various augmented reality visual search products. More recently, Green served as a director at Alphabet’s “moonshot factory” X.

Headroom raised $5 million in seed funding last October, with big-name backers, including Google’s AI-focused fund Gradient Ventures and Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang. As of this week, Headroom is officially available for anyone to sign up for after an extended beta period.

Zoom on steroids

While Headroom is a video communication platform in a similar vein to Zoom, it packs a number of notable tools on top of its core video chat functionality — it has been built with productivity, inclusiveness, and organization at its core.

Headroom automatically transcribes a meeting, enabling users to search the transcript for keywords that are relevant to them — rather than having to sit through an entire two hour replay to get to the stuff that matter’s for their role.

Above: Headroom: Search

With this transcription in place, Headroom can also conduct a textual analysis using natural language processing (NLP), and by leveraging computer vision to analyze body language — including gaze-tracking and facial expressions — to generate highlights based on the perceived energy levels of the participants.

“Together, these signals allow us to automatically produce a highlight version of the meeting that is ten times shorter — you can skip between highlights and get a good sense of an hour-long meeting in minutes,” Green told VentureBeat.

Moreover, built-in gesture recognition allows meeting participants to quickly show their (dis)approval without unmuting their microphone, either by giving a thumbs up/down, or raising their hand to indicate that they have a question without verbally interrupting the current speaker.

Above: Headroom: Replaying a meeting, with context

On a technical level, Headroom uses what is known as “real-time super-resolution,” which essentially transforms low-definition video into high-definition using lower bandwidth. And with its server-based architecture, Headroom doesn’t consume users’ local computing power — everything takes place in the cloud.

“We can provide all these AI features without taking up all your CPU cycles, and having your computer fan running when you have a meeting,” Green explained. “Our differentiation from the many other efforts in this area stem from having developed a next-generation video-conferencing platform that enables low latency real-time AI to be run on real-time communication — older architectures can’t do this. Incumbents are in the pixel delivery business, we are in the intelligence delivery business.”

Meetings of the future

In the future, Headroom sees itself serving as a sort of centralized knowledge base that allows users to ask questions — such as “what was project XYZ’s outcome?” — and receive answers. This means those that couldn’t attend a meeting can easily discover any agreements or conclusions that were reached.

“Meetings will become a more flexible way to drive a business forward, from rich in-person communication all the way to rapid information-retrieval and value-added analytics,” Green said.

Other notable features include “wordshare,” which purportedly promotes “inclusivity” in situations where one or two people are doing most of the talking. Headroom counts the number of words each person has said, and displays a corresponding graph — in reality, though, this could shine a spotlight on less-vocal introverted participants instead.

While it remains early days for Headroom, the San Francisco-headquartered company is initially focusing on startups “since they tend to be early adopters and are less committed to existing tools,” according to Green. But he said that the company is seeing some early traction in the enterprise space.

“We have had inbound interest from consultancies, banks, healthcare, and educational companies,” Green said. “So there is value there for enterprises, which are very interested in the things we do well — coaching, improving inclusion, and transparency in meetings. Having a searchable store of meeting information, reducing duplicated meetings, and improving efficiency is attractive to companies of all sizes.”


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Zoom Agrees to Pay Whopping Settlement Fee Over Zoombombing

Zoom, the company behind the popular videoconferencing software of the same name, has agreed to pay $85 million to settle a lawsuit regarding its privacy and security practices.

The suit was brought by users who accused California-based Zoom of sharing their data with third-party companies such as Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn without permission, as well as lax security that led to so-called “zoombombing” incidents where trolls would suddenly drop shocking images or other distasteful content into meetings.

The settlement, announced on Saturday, still needs the approval of U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, but assuming it goes through, Zoom customers can expect to receive a 15% refund on a portion of their subscription fee or $25, whichever is greater. Zoom subscribers outside of the suit could receive a payment of up to $15.

Besides the payment, the terms of the settlement also require Zoom to put in place more robust security measures and provide Zoom employees with special training geared toward improving privacy measures and data handling, Reuters reported.

A number of class-action complaints were brought against Zoom in the spring of 2020 over zoombombing incidents and alleged malpractice. Zoom tried to persuade the court to throw out the suits, and while the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California agreed to dismiss some, it consolidated the remaining ones into a single lawsuit at the center of the agreement announced at the weekend.

Commenting on the case, Zoom said, “The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us.”

Highlighting a series of software updates issued last year in a bid to block zoombombing attacks, as well as changes that it made to address privacy and security concerns, the company added, “We are proud of the advancements we have made to our platform, and look forward to continuing to innovate with privacy and security at the forefront.”

Before the pandemic, Zoom’s videoconferencing software, which launched in 2012, was largely confined to the workplace. But as a rapid spread in coronavirus infections in early 2020 forced many people to stay home, Zoom downloads quickly went off the charts, with millions around the world using it not only for remote working, but also to stay in touch with friends and family. The sudden uptick in users appeared to take the company by surprise, with the increase in demand exposing software vulnerabilities while at the same time shining a light on its broader operations.

Editors’ Choice

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Winning Olympians Enjoy a Zoom Moment Straight After Victory

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are well and truly underway, albeit a year late. The delay was of course down to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with Japan currently grappling with a fifth wave of infections.

Despite the latest surge, it appears as if the show will go on, with the Olympic organizers’ anti-infection measures set to stay firmly in place. These include keeping athletes’ teams as small as possible, with friends and family asked to stay in their home countries instead of traveling to the host nation to offer their support in person.

Hoping to ease the disappointment of separation, Athlete365, an International Olympic Committee initiative set up by athletes to support one another, created Athlete Moment.


Athlete Moment lets winning athletes at select Olympic events speak to loved ones via a Zoom-like call just seconds after their victory and also after the medal ceremony. You may have already seen it in action at the Tokyo Aquatics Center, which is hosting the Games’ swimming events, though 15 other sports are also involved, including athletics, basketball, BMX racing, and several gymnastics events.

We know how important the support of your loved ones is. ????

Athlete Moment gives you the opportunity to virtually connect with your friends and family following your final competition in Tokyo.

This is your moment. ????
Apply now ????

— Athlete365 (@Athlete365) July 7, 2021

“The Athlete Moment will bring together you, your families, and friends in a virtual hug that will reach around the world,” Athlete365 says on the webpage where competitors can sign up to the feature.

Once they do so, they’ll receive a link to share with up to five individuals or small groups. If the athlete wins their competition, the link will go live and they’ll be able to briefly chat with loved ones via a large display placed inside the venue.

Of course, athletes can easily jump on their smartphones and fire up a video call later on, but Athlete Moment offers winners a chance for a quick exchange just moments after a race or contest finishes.

In a video promoting the feature, Athlete365 says, “The whole experience lasts for a little over a minute, but the memories will last for a lifetime.”

For more Tokyo 2020 content, check out this stunning Omega commercial promoting the Games.

Editors’ Choice

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Zoom acquires AI translation startup Kites

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Videoconferencing company Zoom today announced that it acquired Kites GmbH (Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions), a startup developer of AI-powered real-time language translation technologies. Terms of the deal weren’t made public. Zoom said that Kites’ team of 12 research scientists will remain in Karlsruhe, Germany,  helping the Zoom’s engineering team build translation capabilities for Zoom users.

Kites is among Zoom’s first acquisitions following the company’s $1.75 billion-plus share sale earlier this year. In a filing in January with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission, Zoom said it could use part of the capital for merger and acquisition activity. As of March, the company had $4.2 billion in cash, which CFO Kelly Stackelberg said in an interview with Yahoo Finance Live would be put toward “opportunities for acquisitions to augment our talent and our technology,” among other efforts.

In its first acquisition in May 2020, Zoom bought Keybase, a security startup focused on encrypted communications, for an undisclosed sum.


Kites was founded in 2015 by Alex Waibel and Sebastian Stüker, faculty members at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Waibel previously started the language technology group at Facebook, which became a part of the social network’s applied machine learning division. Waibel is also the founder of C-STAR, an international consortium for speech translation research, for which he served as chairman from 1998 to 2000.

Kites’ platform was originally designed as a tool to facilitate dialogue among international academic teams, but its focus was later broadened to become a general-purpose, AI-driven translation framework.

A number of third-party tools already allow Zoom users to engage in multilingual conversations. There’s Ligmo, which supports around 80 languages and 100 language pairs in real time. Another popular plugin, Wordly, can understand and translate between 16 different languages.

But Kites claims to leverage “state of the art” technology and predictive AI — built in-house and running on the cloud or on-premises — to deliver leading translation accuracy with low latency. Transcripts and translated text appear in real time, before speakers complete their sentences, and it self-corrects if it identifies a better interpretation after additional context.

Kites says that when it comes to recognition, its system has an error rate of about 5%, with about only one second of delay behind a person’s speech.

“Kites emerged with the mission of breaking down language barriers and making seamless cross-language interaction a reality of everyday life, and we have long admired Zoom for its ability to easily connect people across the world,” Waibel and Stüker said in a statement. “We know Zoom is the best partner for Kites to help advance our mission and we are excited to see what comes next under Zoom’s incredible innovation engine.”

Following the acquisition, Waibel will become a Zoom research fellow, a role in which he’ll advise Zoom’s machine translation R&D. As for Zoom, it will explore opening an R&D center in Germany, according to Velchamy Sankarlingam, Zoom president of product and engineering.

“We are continuously looking for new ways to deliver happiness to our users and improve meeting productivity, and machine translation solutions will be key in enhancing our platform for Zoom customers across the globe,” Sankarlingam said in a statement. “With our aligned missions to make collaboration frictionless — regardless of language, geographic location, or other barriers – we are confident Kites’ impressive team will fit right in with Zoom.”


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AI automatically joins and transcribes calendared Zoom meetings

Elevate your enterprise data technology and strategy at Transform 2021.

AI-powered transcription company has announced a new integration that automatically joins, records, and transcribes scheduled Zoom meetings.

The Los Altos, California-based company, which raised a fresh $50 million tranche of funding just a few months ago, has offered integrations with Zoom for a while (as well as with Google Meet). However, this latest tie-up goes further by carrying out all the manual steps involved in joining a meeting, transcribing it, and sharing notes with all users.


Otter Assistant, as the new feature is called, connects with a user’s Google or Outlook calendar (once permissions have been granted) to see when a Zoom meeting is due to start. It then joins the call and starts recording on schedule, with no manual actions required.

For transparency, Otter Assistant shows up on the call as a participant. And each other participant in the call can view the live meeting notes, with support for making notes and highlighting text visible to everyone.

Above: Otter Assistant

One key differentiator from the existing Zoom integration is that this now works with all Zoom calls, regardless of whether the user is the official host.

This launch also serves as a major boost to Zoom’s burgeoning app ecosystem, something the company has been keen to encourage to make its platform more useful and, ultimately, stickier.

Zoom itself has also been on something of a feature launch spree of late, having recently brought Alexa for Business to Zoom conference room calls and rolled out a new “immersive view” to position remote participants in the same virtual room.

The Otter Assistant is available as part of’s business plan, which costs $20 per user per month.


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How Epic vs. Apple took us screaming into the future with Zoom

This morning a vast number of listeners were able to take part in the court case of the moment: Epic Games vs Apple. Because of a user error at the start of the audio broadcast of this court case, listeners were treated to a mass of sounds – yelling, screaming, music, and nonsense. This was because the call opened to all participants.

Like many users over the last year, the people involved in broadcasting this court case must be relatively new to the whole process. While we’ve had party calling capabilities for decades, the computer- or smartphone-based multi-caller meeting is still a relative Wild West sort of situation.

With the court case at hand, the court received an “unopposed motion for trial access filed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and Eighteen Media Organizations.” Because of the world we live in today, “given the current constraints necessitated by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” the court could “only guarantee that public access will include audio which will be provided by telephone line accessing the Court over its Zoom platform.”

Much like the rest of the world’s first few Zoom calls, things started off awkward. After about 20 minutes of screaming, the court officials responsible for handling the call figured out how to mute the masses. Now we can move into the future – one where we don’t need to be physically inside a courtroom to witness a trial.

NOTE: This may not have been the first court case to be broadcast in the world with Zoom, but it will be the first court case many remember as their initial experience with Zoom in this form. Because this case is so high profile, it’ll become much more readily expected that any event (court cases included) can be – and should be – expected to be broadcast using a system like Zoom. It should be easy – so why not?

Take a peek at the timeline below to see what’s going on with the Epic vs. Apple court case now and through the week. This should be interesting!

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How to Change Your Zoom Background

Scrambling to find a place to host your next Zoom meeting for work can be stressful if your options are limited to a boring home office with bare walls or a messy bedroom. One effective way to address that is by using Zoom’s Virtual Background feature. It allows you to cover up your actual background with a photo or video instead. Your co-workers will still see your face, but this time, your face will be in front of a prettier or more interesting background. In this guide, we’ll show you how to change your background in Zoom step by step.

We’ll also take a look at how to add a fun filter to your video, so be sure to scroll on to check that out, too.

Explore more Zoom guides

Step 1: Access your Zoom settings


To set your virtual background in Zoom, you must first access the Zoom app’s settings. To do so, open the Zoom desktop app and click on the gear-shaped Settings icon. This icon is located in the top-right corner of the app’s main menu screen. It should be just under your profile picture icon.

Step 2: Select Background & Filters from the settings menu

Zoom background and filters settings page

Once you’re in the Settings menu, select the Background & Filters option from the menu on the left side of the screen. This will open up a sub-section of the Settings menu on the right side of the screen. Here is where we’ll choose a background. You can also add video filters in this section, but we’ll get into that later on in this guide.

Step 3: Preview and choose your virtual background

Choosing Zoom background screenshot

To choose a virtual background, make sure that the Virtual Backgrounds tab is selected. This way, you can browse Zoom’s limited collection of preset video and image backgrounds. If you want to preview one of these backgrounds, simply click on its corresponding thumbnail icon, and it should immediately appear in the preview screen toward the top of your window. It’s important to note that if you want to see how your virtual background will appear while you’re in a video call, you’ll need to turn on your webcam while you’re previewing these backgrounds. That way, the preview screen will show a livestream of your face in front of the background instead of just the background itself.

You’re also not limited to using Zoom’s preset virtual backgrounds. You can add your own images and videos by clicking on the Plus Sign icon next to Video Filters. A drop-down menu will appear, giving you two options: Add Image or Add Video. Choosing either will open your PC’s File Explorer so that you can select an image or video file from your computer. Once you’ve picked a background, simply exit the Settings menu. Zoom will automatically save your selection.

If you don’t want to add a virtual background but simply want to make your actual background less noticeable or just hide it a bit, you can also blur your background. To do so, just navigate to the same Virtual Backgrounds tab in the Background & Filters section of the Zoom settings menu, and choose the Blur thumbnail option.

It’s also worth mentioning that Zoom’s Virtual Background feature is optimized to function better with the use of a green screen. You can use the feature without a green screen, but if you have one, the quality is expected to be better. If you plan on using a green screen, be sure to tick the box next to the phrase I Have a Green Screen in the Background & Filters settings page to get the most out of your virtual background.

Zoom virtual background during meeting screenshot

Note: You can set your virtual background while you’re in a meeting as well. To do so, click on the upward-facing arrow within the Start (or Stop) Video Camera icon. In the menu that appears, select Choose Virtual Background. This will take you to the same Background & Filters menu from earlier.

More fun: How to add a filter to your Zoom video

Virtual backgrounds aren’t the only way to jazz up your Zoom meetings. Your backgrounds can also be adorned with a wide variety of preset Zoom filters. Here’s how to use them:

Step 1: Access the Background & Filters section of the Zoom Settings menu, as we did earlier.

Add filter to zoom video screenshot

Step 2: Select the Video Filters tab, and a wide selection of Zoom preset filters will pop up on your screen. Select a filter’s thumbnail to preview what a filter would look like on your screen, and a preview will appear in the preview screen at the top of your window. For some of the image filters, the software requires your face to display correctly on screen, so they won’t appear unless your webcam is on. For example, the pizza hat filter won’t show up until it can see a head on which it can place the hat.

Step 3: Once you decide on a filter, close the Settings menu. Your chosen filter will appear automatically on screen the next time you join a Zoom meeting.

Note: Like virtual backgrounds, users have the ability to change or add a filter while a meeting is underway using a similar process. Click on the upward-facing arrow in the Start (or Stop) Video Camera icon. A menu will appear on your screen. Select Choose Video Filter, and Zoom will take you to the same Background & Filters location in your Settings menu to pick your filter.

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Tech News

Telegram group video chat take on Zoom with a twist next month

Although video conferencing has become almost a fact of life these days and “Zoom fatigue” has started to become a real problem, there are still companies and services that are trying to compete or even unseat the leaders in that space. And it’s not just the usual culprits of Google, Facebook, and Microsoft either but other more focused services are also jumping on board. The latest that will be joining the bandwagon is Telegram who will be putting a different twist to the idea next month.

Telegram originally planned to add group video chat capabilities to the service last year when the first wave of lockdowns and work from home arrangements hit people around the globe. For better or worse, Telegram delayed that rollout and perhaps avoided being drowned by the torrent of announcements and features coming from bigger companies. The WhatsApp brouhaha earlier this year also put Telegram under the spotlight, which meant now would be the perfect time to roll out something big like this.

That said, Telegram’s group video calls might not rival Zoom one-on-one, at least not based on what CEO Pavel Durov said. He teased that the service will be adding a video dimension to its voice chats. If that’s the case, it might be more like a video Clubhouse than Zoom.

Telegram’s Voice Chats 2.0 was just announced last month and was its take on the audio-only social platform popularized by Clubhouse. If its group video conferencing feature will be built on top of that, it will be turning the tables on the Zoom convention, with “attendees” muted by default and only the speakers or organizers have the floor. At least until it’s time for some Q&A and attendees are given the mic temporarily.

Of course, Zoom and others like it can be set up to do the same anyway. What Telegram will be promoting, of course, will be the security of its feature, thanks to encryption, and other niceties like noise cancellation and, at least according to Durov, speed.

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