Facebook-owned WhatsApp has rolled out the increased group voice and video calls limit to eight participants at a time.
The new video calling feature will now support up to 8 people simultaneously, which was previously limited to 4. Also, all video calls in WhatsApp will be secured with end-to-end encryption as before.
This new update is available for everyone having the latest WhatsApp for iOS (version 2.20.50) and Android beta update (version 2.20.141) installed.
“Group video and voice calls now support up to 8 participants. All participants need to be on the latest version of WhatsApp,” explains the latest iOS update. The update also mentions some visual improvements for iOS 13 users, including an updated message action menu.
To place a video call with eight participants, all the participants in the call require to have the latest version of WhatsApp installed on their smartphones.
There are two ways in which you can do a group voice or video call on WhatsApp:
Open a group and tap the Call button: if the group has a number of participants higher than the old limit (4) in a call, WhatsApp will ask which contacts you wish to call to, otherwise the call will be directly started. Group participants that aren’t saved in your address book won’t be added in the call.
Open the Calls tab, tap the Call button, then select New group call: here you can select which contacts to call.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, video conferencing apps have become increasingly popular among employees working from home and students doing online education.
Currently, large group or video calls are possible on apps like Google Duo (supports 12 in a single call), FaceTime (supports 32), Messenger Rooms (supports up to 50), Zoom (up to 500 with its priciest add-on), Microsoft Teams (supports 9) and HouseParty (supports 8).
While WhatsApp is still lagging behind other apps in terms of the number of participants, it is a welcome move considering the increased demand for social video calling due to coronavirus lockdown.