The year 2020 will be known for the Coronavirus pandemic, social distancing, and the year of video calls. With everyone forced to live in isolation, video calls have taken over our lives. We are catching up with our friends on a video call; we are doing our jobs on video calls; we are even taking classes on video calls. Many tech companies have come up with new products around vide calls or upgraded their existing platform to serve the new needs. Just a couple of days back, Facebook introduced Messenger Rooms for video conferencing with up to 50 people. This is WhatsApp’s turn to offer a better video calling experience.
WhatsApp’s group video calling with up to 8 participants was a hot topic in the tech community for the last few weeks. And finally, the feature is available for people to try on the regular stable version. Earlier WhatsApp group video call was only limited to 4 participants, which Facebook has increased to 8. To be able to do a group call with 8 users, all the participants need to update their WhatsApp to the latest version.
You can either start a video call from a group, or you can start with one-to-one call, and add members by clicking on the add users button. It is important to note that the update is currently live for iOS users on the Apple App Store. This new update is still unavailable on the Google Play Store. However, MSPowerUser reports that you can download the latest version of APK from the WhatsApp website and start using the feature. I couldn’t verify this claim as none of my contacts have the latest version installed.
Just for comparison, Apple’s FaceTime supports 32 people, Google’s Duo supports 12 people, both Skype Meets and Messenger Rooms support up to 50 people, and the free tier on Zoom supports up to 100 people in one call.