Telegram has launched group voice chats that are a bit like Discord rooms. Users can participate in always-on, group voice chats while they simultaneously do other things on the app. As per the company, the new update will allow any Telegram group to become a voice chat room. Telegram says that although Voice Chats are not group calls, “they can achieve similar goals”. Voice chats are now part of existing text chats, and operate as a persistent option to speak live with friends or family. It also gives them the freedom to drop in and drop out of a group voice chat as they please, just like in Discord.

As per a blog post by the Telegram team, since Voice Chats run in parallel to texting, it essentially adds another “layer of ephemeral talk to the group”. It means that after joining a voice chat, users can browse conversations, send texts and media like they generally do on the Telegram app, while staying connected to the voice chat. They can mute/ unmute the conversation through the microphone controls on the screen.

For example, if you have joined a group voice chat in your office and you hear that someone is taking a break to get lunch, you can quickly jump in to request that person to bring some for you as well.