WhatsApp increases group call limit

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As millions of people stay at home in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus, video calling apps have become increasingly popular.

Apps like Zoom and Houseparty have become the go-to communication tools to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues. 

Currently, WhatsApp only allows up to four people to communicate on a video call at one time - but things are reportedly about to change. 

According to WhatsApp beta users, the social networking app could double the capacity for video calls from four to eight people for both iOS and Android.  

Just as previously, calls will be end-to-end encrypted.

To access this increased caller feature, users need to download the  TestFlight 2.20.50.25 iOS beta update for iOS users and the Google Play 2.20.133 beta update for Android users.

Only those people who have the beta version of WhatsApp can use this function. 

WhatsApp says this increased caller limit will be rolled out to the standard app in due course, but for now it’s only available to those who download the beta version WhatsApp.

WABetaInfo reports that the code in the beta version of WhatsApp includes a warning message that will appear when trying to add people to a video call that states "all participants need the latest version of WhatsApp for calls with %D people". 

Hopefully, WhatsApp will reveal what number "%D" equates to very soon - which could in fact, be more than eight.

What is a “beta” version of WhatsApp?

Beta apps are trial versions of the standard WhatsApp application. Between any WhatsApp Messenger update, there can be many beta updates. Beta app users test these “beta apps” to help the app developers by giving feedback in order to detect any bugs, glitches or malfunctions. 

If you are not in any rush to expand your video calling function on WhatsApp, we recommend that you wait until the function is realised formally on the standard WhatsApp version.

This function is currently not available to test for all beta users. This could be because WhatsApp developers are implementing the feature on a roll-out basis or are still deciphering the capacity of the app systems.

Zoom-ing success?

Since lockdown measures were put in place, many professionals working across the world have turned to Zoom to keep colleagues connected and businesses running. 

Zoom is a video-conferencing platform, created by developers in Silicon Valley. Although this platform saw a surge in users towards the final weeks of March and beginning of April, it’s flawed privacy policies soon forced many technology giants, businesses and governmental organisations swiftly move away from using it.

With stricter privacy settings, WhatsApp is looking to gain more ground in the professional world with their latest video-calling update. 

Watch this space for the official WhatsApp update... 

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