Mobile phone service WhatsApp has announced it will now allow up to eight people on voice and video calls, doubling from the previous limit of four participants. WhatsApp said the feature is being updated to reflect the current needs of citizens experiencing prolonged separation and isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Over the last month, people on average are spending over 15bn minutes talking each day on WhatsApp calls, well above a typical day before the pandemic,” said WhatsApp in a blog post. “And just like written messages, all those calls are protected with end-to-end encryption. We have built group calling in a way that makes it available for as many users as possible, including people on lower-end devices and slow network conditions.”
Along with the WhatsApp app for Apple and Android products, users can also take advantage of the new feature on a Facebook Portal device. To use the new eight-person participant feature, all participants must download the most updated version of WhatsApp, starting today.