Signal adds support for encrypted group video calls

Encrypted messaging app Signal has added support for group video calls for up to five people, the company has announced. Group calls can be started by tapping the video call button at the top of a supported group chat. Calls are “end-to-end encrypted — like everything else on Signal,” the company says. By default, participants are shown in a grid format, but you can swipe up for a view that focuses on individual speakers.

With a five-person limit, Signal isn’t going to be replacing video conferencing services like Zoom any time soon, but the company says it’s working to increase the maximum number of call participants over time.

Group calls default to a gallery view, but you can swipe up to focus on the person talking.
Image: Signal

Group video calls are available in the service’s iOS and Android apps, but for now they’re limited to new-style Signal group chats, and won’t appear in older, legacy chats. Signal launched its new group chats back in October, adding support for @mentions, group admins, and more granular permissions. Older legacy chats will be upgraded to the new chat style in the coming weeks, Signal says.

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