Last week we wrote about reports that WhatsApp was working on increasing the limit of people that could be involved in a video call on the platform. At the time no official comment came out of the Facebook-owned entity, but now the limit has indeed been increased.
It means that up to eight people can join a voice call on WhatsApp, which doubles the previous limit of four.
With videoconferencing becoming an increasingly important tool for those working from home or practising social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, WhatsApp is popular on the messaging side of things, but less so on video.
This latest feature improvement now puts WhatsApp on an equal footing with that of Houseparty at eight. The pair are still some ways off of dedicated videoconferencing platforms, however, with the Google Duo now catering to 12 people, FaceTime on Apple up to 32 users, the Messenger Rooms service from Facebook going to 50 and Zoom’s free tier leading the way with 100.
As for accessing the new feature, an update should already be available or is currently rolling out to those with an iOS device, with the company noting that Android is set to follow thereafter. No date is mentioned, but this is par for the course when it comes to WhatsApp updates and new features.
Those Android users who are unwilling to wait, can access the feature from the latest APK, but unless you’re a savvy user, it’s best to wait until Google has readied it for a wider release to the Android ecosystem and community.
Whether the feature will be heavily used like other videoconferencing services out there, remains to be seen, but its addition should help WhatsApp a more robust all-around communication platform.