Usage of WhatsApp’s teleconferencing feature has seen a surge in usage across the globe. To cater to the demand, the instant messaging application has been testing to add more members in video conference call – whatspp group chats. Currently, the application allows a maximum of four participants. The new beta version has been spotted with up to eight members during a video conference.
The new version was spotted by WABetaInfo. According to the report, the latest WhatApp beta update has revealed the company is set to soon extend the limit of participants in a voice or video group call for its 2 billion users, including over 400 million in India.
“WhatsApp is rolling out the new limit of participants in groups calls, for iOS and Android beta users. The new limit is: 8 participants in group calls,” tweeted WABetaInfo.
The feature was spotted on the update version 184.108.40.206 iOS beta update from TestFlight and the 2.20.133 beta from Google Play Store. To use the feature, the call recipients will also need the latest version or else they won’t be added in the group call.
While you’re in a call, WhatsApp also shows a new header, informing that the call is end-to-end encrypted.
Given how Facebook positions WhatsApp as a messaging service to your closest friends and family, the extended amount of people is probably just to allow more people to join social distanced evenings, dinners, and celebrating holidays. The platform is unlikely to try and take on Zoom, Google Meet or the likes for now.
WhatsApp rival, Zoom has been a popular option for users who look to add more than four members in a call. The application, however, has been under scrutiny for various security issues. The Ministry of Home Affairs cautioned citizens against the use of Zoom. The government has also realized the demand and has setup an innovation challenge to build India’s own teleconferencing app. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is accepting applications from interested developers till 30 April. The winner will receive ₹1 crore as reward and a 4-year contract from the government. whatspp group chats