Audio conversations on social networks seem to be pretty popular these days with Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces. It requires lesser bandwidth than video calls and you don’t need to have the perfect background or put on a presentable outfit to participate in one. Telegram introduced Voice Chats late last year but it was only available for groups. Now they’re bringing Voice Chats 2.0 with more robust features and the good news for Telegram Channels is that they can join in on the fun too.

The most important new thing here is that channels and public groups will now be able to host voice chats live for all their followers and members. Think of this as a sort of live podcast or to go more “old school”, a live radio show but on a messaging app. Now you can also record audio from the voice chats so those who were not able to join live can listen to the conversation. Channels and groups can publish the chat and share to their followers. Once the recording is finished, it will be available in the Saved Messages section.

In most conversations, to avoid confusion and talking over one another, participants are muted. But if someone wants to join the conversation, they can now tap to raise their hand and admins can decide if they will allow someone to talk. Your bio text is also now seen in the list of participants so it can help admins decide when (or if) to let you ask a question or give a comment. Admins can also create separate invite links for speakers and listeners so it would be easier for the former to join in on the call without being muted.

When entering a voice chat on a channel, you also have the option to join with your personal account or as one of your channels. This is of course applicable for celebrities and public figures who don’t want to share their persona channel. Admins can also add optional titles to the voice chats so people can see clearly the topic before they join or listen in. There are also non voice chat additions in this update like the ability to cancel forwarding if you make a mistake, resume playback for long voice messages, and choosing which action is assigned to swiping left in the chat list.

Update your Telegram app to enjoy these new things especially the new features of the Voice Chat. As to which app is winning the audio conversations game, it’s still too early to tell but branding-wise, it looks like Clubhouse is the name to beat for now.