Signal adds support for encrypted group video calls

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

With a five-person limit, Signal will not soon replace video conferencing services such as Zoom, but the company says it is working to increase the maximum number of call participants over time.

Default group calls to a gallery view, but you can swipe up to focus on the person you’re talking to.
Image: Signal

Group video calls are available in the service’s iOS and Android apps, but for now are limited to new Signal group chats and won’t appear in old, old chats. Signal launched its new group discussions in October, adding support for @mentions, group administrators and more granular permissions. Old chats will be updated to the new chat style in the coming weeks, says Signal.