What you need to know
- WhatsApp now lets you video call with up to 8 people.
- The feature is being released to the public after some beta testing.
- It's available to both iOS and Android Users.
WhatsApp is now rolling out group video and voice chats for up to eight people across both iOS and Android.
WhatsApp expanded group calling to eight people in its beta on April 21, after previously announcing support for up to four people.
Now, group video and voice calling for you and seven friends has been released to the general public on both iOS and Android. According to the app's iOS release notes for version 2.20.50:
- Group video and voice calls now support up to 8 participants. All participants need to be on the latest version of WhatsApp.
- Visual improvements for iOS 13 users including updated message action menu.
The iOS update is available now from the App Store, and will likely show up as an automatic update for most users. On Android, the latest version does not appear to be available from the Google Play store (yet), however according to WABetaInfo on Twitter, it is available via the web download for Android:
The WhatsApp for Android web release allows now 8 participants in group calls! 🤩 https://t.co/ahgzhoEe2hThe WhatsApp for Android web release allows now 8 participants in group calls! 🤩 https://t.co/ahgzhoEe2h— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) April 27, 2020April 27, 2020
According to MSPoweruser, if you're on Android you'll need to download WhatsApp 2.20.141 from the WhatsApp website. In order for this to work with your friends and family, they too will have to be running the latest version of WhatsApp on their respective devices.
Group video and voice calls are initiated through the Calls tab at the bottom left-hand corner of the WhatsApp app. In the top right, the call icon (a phone with a plus sign) can be selected, and on the latest version of WhatsApp you'll see 'New Group Call'. Tap this, and select up to seven other participants, you can then choose whether to initiate a video or a voice call.
Whilst WhatsApp doesn't offer the larger number of participants available on services like Zoom, users and smaller groups will likely be drawn to the promise of WhatsApp's more robust encryption.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9