Signal adds support for encrypted group video calls

The encrypted messaging program Signal has added support for group video calls for up to five people, the company announced. Group calls can be initiated 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 displayed in a grid format, but you can slide up to see a target to individual speakers.

With a five-person limit, Signal won’t replace video conferencing services like Zoom anytime soon, but the company says it is working to increase the maximum number of callers over time.

Group calls a priori to gallery view, but you can slide up to focus on the speaker.
Image: Signal

Group video calls are available in the service’s iOS and Android apps, but currently they are limited to new-style Signal group chats, and will not appear in older legacy chats. Signal launched its new group talks in October, adding support for @ mentions, group administrators and more detailed permissions. Older legacy chat rooms will be upgraded to the new chat room in the coming weeks, Signal says.