October 22, 2020

WhatsApp could soon rival Skype, Zoom with this feature update (Update)

Update: WhatsApp's group audio and video calls now accommodate up to eight participants.

WhatsApp by Facebook stock photo 7

Update, April 21 2020 (5:15AM ET): We first got word last week that WhatsApp could be raising the limit on how many users can join group VoIP and video calls. Now, it looks like the tweak is rolling out to some users, and it lets you hold a group audio or video call with up to eight participants.

According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is pushing out the change to WhatsApp beta users on Android and iOS. More specifically, the outlet says it applies to the 2.20.50.25 iOS beta update and the 2.20.133 beta on Android.

The outlet adds that all users on a call with eight people need to have the latest version of WhatsApp. Nevertheless, we’re glad to see this feature finally being pushed out, especially as stay-at-home orders and lockdowns continue around the world.

Original article, April 17 2020 (7:26AM ET): In a recent response to the COVID-19 crisis, WhatsApp introduced more forward limits on the app to limit the spread of misinformation. Now, WhatsApp seems to be preparing yet another feature that would make it more useful during the ongoing pandemic.

Possibly prompted by the sudden rise in video calling, WhatsApp is reportedly looking to increase the group audio and video calling limit. The WhatsApp Beta watchers at WABetaInfo claim to have discovered a revealing string of code in the messaging app’s Android beta version 2.2.128.

Currently, WhatsApp restricts group video and audio calls to a maximum of four participants. This limit is tiny in comparison to video chatting platforms like Skype and Zoom, which allow a much larger number of people to participate in group calls.

There is no word on WhatsApp’s new group calling limit, but if Messenger is anything to go by, then we could see a refreshed limit of as many as 50 participants. After all, both platforms are owned by Facebook.

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