WhatsApp Messenger is confirmed to be doubling the number of participants allowed in the group calls. With this, WhatsApp group calls will now support up to 8 people, up from four right now. The change was first spotted in the recent beta version of WhatsApp Messenger on both Android and iPhone, and now Facebook, the parent company of WhatsApp, has officially announced the change and revealed the timeline of when the increased group call participants limit can be expected.
In a post on Facebook, the social giant's CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the upcoming change to WhatsApp group calls.
“More than 700 million daily actives use WhatsApp and Messenger for calling. In many countries, calling has doubled since the Covid-19 outbreak began, wrote Zuckerberg. “To help you stay connected with your whole family and groups of friends, we're doubling the number of people who can participate in a group video call from 4 to 8 on WhatsApp.”
WhatsApp's head Will Cathcart revealed in a tweet that this change will start rolling out next week to users on Android and iPhone. Meaning, the next stable version update to WhatsApp will bring the upgraded participants limit to group calls on WhatsApp.
In his Facebook post, Zuckerberg also announced several new features of other Facebook products as well with Messenger Rooms launch being the highlight. Facebook Messenger is getting virtual rooms that will allow the users of the chat app to communicate with as many as 50 people at the same time. This announcement is being seen as an attempt by Facebook to take on Zoom that has seen massive growth over the last many weeks as people around the world work from home to adhere to social distancing guidelines amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
While Zoom was used mainly by businesses and professionals before coronavirus pandemic, it has gained millions of regular users who utilise it to connect with family and friends. Facebook is hoping to get a chunk of these users. The increased WhatsApp group call user limit is also a step in the same direction.