Last week, WhatsApp was rumored to be working to increase the limit on the number of participants in a group call – be it a video or audio call. Merely a few days later, the increased group calling limit has rolled out to WhatsApp beta users. You can now have up to 8 participants in a group call.
First spotted by famed tipster WABetaInfo, the new group calling participant limit is now live on WhatsApp beta version 2.20.133 on Android and 18.104.22.168 on iOS. The feature hasn’t rolled out publicly just yet but owing to the current COVID-19 situation, we can expect it to reach everyone sooner rather than later.
To begin a group call with more than 4 participants (which was the previous limit), simply jump into a group conversation and tap the call button at the top right. Then, select those you want to invite for a call. You can add up to 7 participants, which makes the total 8 when you count yourself.
Now, if you want to start a group call with people who you don’t share a group, then you can head to the ‘Calls’ tab. Tap the ‘call’ bubble at the bottom right and select the ‘New group call’ option. Now, pick the participants, start a video/audio call, and have fun.
One of the caveats of the increased group calling limit in its current form is that all of the participants need to be on the latest version of WhatsApp. The messaging app just spews out an error message that reads – “Several people are using an old version of WhatsApp. To start calls with 6 people (any number over 4), all participants need the latest version of WhatsApp.”
I expect the messaging giant to beta test this feature for couple-odd days and then start rolling out to everyone. WhatsApp is now ready to take on Google Duo and Houseparty amidst the lockdown, now with the increased group call limit.