WhatsApp expands the number of participants for a video call to 32

WhatsApp expands the number of participants for a video call to 32

WhatsApp has added several new features that are aimed at expanding and improving video meetings. Now a meeting can have up to 32 participants, screen sharing with audio is possible and active speakers are better “highlighted.

WhatsApp is steadily expanding its functionality with new features to give users a better video call experience. With this, the messaging app seems to be getting more and more functionality that the more familiar platforms also offer, such as Zoom, Google Meet or Apple Facetime.

One of the novelties is raising the number of participants for a video call to a maximum of 32 participants across multiple devices. This maximum number was already possible for mobile participants but not yet for participants with other devices, such as Windows and macOS users. These devices previously had a maximum participant limit of 16 and eight participants, respectively. Facetime also offers a maximum of 32 simultaneous participants. However, Zoom and Google Meet take the crown with a maximum of 100 participants each in a video call. Furthermore, an active speaker in a video call is now “highlighted” and placed at the front of the screen.

In addition, screen-sharing functionality has been further improved. This feature has now been expanded to include audio support, allowing participants to share audio when sharing their screens. In this way, it is possible, for example, to watch videos simultaneously with contacts.

MLow codec also comes to WhatsApp

Other new functionality for WhatsApp is under the hood. This is the Meta Low Bitrate (MLow) codec from parent company Meta. This particular codec should improve the reliability of video calls. For example, if end users have a poor internet connection or use an older device.

The codec in question is an upgrade of the earlier open-source Meta Opus codec, which the tech giant has already incorporated into its various real-time communications services. The now-introduced MLow codec should offer up to twice the audio quality of Opus, with ten percent less computing power complexity than the open-source codec.

Also read: Meta rolls out new AI functionality for WhatsApp Business