WhatsApp group calling feature with both voice and video support is finally live. First discovered back in October last year, group calling on the Facebook-owned messaging app was officially announced by Facebook at its annual F8 developer conference in May this year. The new WhatsApp feature is now available for users around the world on iOS and Android. Notably, the group calling feature supports up to four people at the same time. WhatsApp users are claimed to be spending over 2 billion minutes on calls per day, meaning the group video calls was a highly-anticipated feature.
Video calls have been supported by WhatsApp since 2016, but until now they were limited to two participants. The app is now starting to add group video calling to its iOS and Android app and it supports up to four people, the company has announced. WhatsApp says that the new feature is engineered to work under slow network conditions. Additionally, calls are end-to-end encrypted, like all chats on the messaging app.
In order to start a group call, start a video or voice call with one of the contacts. Following this, you will see a button at the top-right corner of the screen that will let you add another participant to the call. Once the call gets connected, an Add Person icon is shown on the top right, above the names of the recipient. Next, if the third user accepts the call, both the names will be shown with a comma separating them. You will be able to add up to three participants for a total of four people in a video or voice call. Do note that you need to download the latest version of the WhatsApp app via Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
In comparison, Facebook Messenger supports group video calls of up to 50 and Skype supports 25. Meanwhile, Snapchat supports 16 participants and Apple’s FaceTime will work with up to 32 people when iOS 12 launches later this year.