WhatsApp's eight-person video calls are now available to everyone

8-person video chat in WhatsApp
(Image credit: WhatsApp)

It's not very long since we learned of WhatsApp's plans to up its game to enable it to better compete with the likes of Skype and Zoom. A beta version of the ever-popular chat tool was found to show that there were plans to double the number of people who could take part of group video chats from four to eight.

The feature was soon added to the app's release version. It began rolling out for iPhone users on April 27, and is now available to those with Android phones too.

As WhatsApp points out in a blog post, there has been an increase in demand for group video calls because of the number of people around the world self-isolating because of the coronavirus pandemic. So, for anyone who has been waiting to get involved in group video chats involving more than four people, the increase is great news.

The increase in video chat participants does not bring WhatsApp in line with Skype and Zoom – which support up to 50 or 100 participants respectively – but it's still great news for anyone who is a WhatsApp user and who doesn't want to switch to another tool.

It's good to talk

One benefit WhatsApp video calls have over some other chat tools is that calls are protected by end-to-end encryption for added privacy and security.

Facebook doesn't specify precisely which version of WhatsApp is needed to unlock eight-people video chats, just that you will have to install the 'latest version'.

It's worth noting that in order for a larger group call to take place, all of the participants need to be running an updated version of WhatsApp that supports the option. 

Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

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