What you need to know
- WhatsApp is expanding the maximum number of participants allowed in a group call to eight.
- It's also making it easier to start group calls in group chats of four people or fewer.
- The changes are rolling out in the latest iOS and Android betas, so a formal release shouldn't be too far off.
It was only a few days ago when we reported that WhatsApp was working on expanding the maximum number of participants that could be invited to a group call, and in less than a week, the company has now started rolling out the feature, albeit only in beta form.
As WABetaInfo reports, version 18.104.22.168 on iOS and version 2.20.133 on Android both allow you to now include up to eight people in a group video or audio call, up from the four-person limit that WhatsApp's had for quite a while. The change was no doubt inspired by the heightened demand for virtual communication during the pandemic.
The other participants in the call will also need to be on the latest beta for the app, though, so it's not immediately as useful as you might like. In addition, the change also requires a server-side switch, so even if you have the latest versions installed, it might still take a few hours for it to go live on your end. You could always uninstall and reinstall the app to hasten the process, but we wouldn't recommend that.
Earlier in the month, the company also made it just that little bit easier to start group calls from within a group chat. So long as there are four or fewer users in the group, you can now call them all immediately, with just one click. For larger groups, you'll understandably need to select the participants individually — and for obvious reasons.