WhatsApp likely to increase participants limit for group video, audio calls

WhatsApp is building a new feature that will allow more than four people to join group audio and video calls, responding to the growth of video meeting apps as people work from their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Spotted on Thursday by WABetaInfo, a fan website that tracks WhatsApp updates, the latest WhatApp Beta update revealed the company is planning to extend the limit of participants in a voice or video group call.

"WhatsApp, probably due to the concerns for the Covid-19 and the fact that more users are using group calls, has decided to extend that limit to allow calls with more participants," said the report.

The company is yet to reveal how many users will finally be able to join the group call. It will come to know when the new calling feature is rolled out globally.

The changes were spotted in WhatsApp Messenger beta for iOS

While you're in a call, WhatsApp shows a new header, informing that the call is end-to-end encrypted.

"All participants will have to be on the most recent WhatsApp version for iOS and Android to be able to participate in a bigger group call," the report mentioned.

Late last month, 70 per cent more people participated in group video calls using Facebook Messenger week-over-week, and the amount time spent on those group video calls has doubled globally.

Similarly, voice and video calls on WhatsApp have more than doubled year-over-year in the places most impacted by the virus.

Apple's FaceTime video calling tool supports 32 people while Facebook Messenger can support up to 50 people in a call.

Recently, in an attempt to fix the problem of spreading of misinformation, WhatsApp put a limit on the frequently forwarded messages. Once a message has been previously forwarded five times, it can henceforth only be forwarded one chat at a time.

The Facebook-owned messaging app, which has over 400 million users in India, also acknowledged reports that its latest beta release is working on a method to allow users to find out more information about messages that may be loaded with misinformation and which are likely being shared multiple times by users.

The instant messaging app also reduced the Status video limit from 30 seconds to 15 seconds in India to cut strain on Internet networks during the coronavirus lockdown in the country as millions of people have started sharing videos in Status.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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