WhatsApp could become the new Zoom, with 50-person video calls on the desktop

WhatsApp Web
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

WhatsApp might soon let you make video calls with up to 50 participants on desktop, giving you a new alternative to Zoom, Skype and Google Meet for your video conferencing needs.

The new option was spotted in a beta version of WhatsApp Web by eagle-eyed researchers at WABetaInfo. Shortcuts in the WhatsApp's menus will direct you to the newly released Facebook Messenger Rooms, where you can create a room and invite people to join, or create a room directly from WhatsApp.

WhatsApp recently gained a major update with support for eight-way video calls on mobile devices, but these new shortcuts will give you another option if you need to invite more people to the conversation.

The feature will also be available on iOS and Android, but it's the desktop support that makes it a viable replacement for established video conferencing tools.

Join the conversation

When Messenger Rooms launched in April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated that it would be supported across WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Portal devices, and it seems this will happen sooner rather than later.

It's not yet clear when the option will become available in WhatsApp – while the menus are visible in the install files for the latest beta release, they're not yet active and integrated into the interface. We'll keep you updated once we know more.

Raj Narayan

A media veteran who turned a gadget lover fairly recently. An early adopter of Apple products, Raj has an insatiable curiosity for facts and figures which he puts to use in research. He engages in active sport and retreats to his farm during his spare time.