The last few years have seen people enjoy video and voice call on the messaging app WhatsApp. For the video chat enthusiast, you’ll be pleased to know that WhatsApp just launched a new feature customized for you- the voice and video group calling feature. Unlike before where one could only call a single person at a time, this new feature makes it possible to talk to multiple people on a single video call. This feature is supported on both Android and iOS and it’s accessible to all WhatsApp users across the globe.
This new feature works the same way chat groups are set up. If you are on one-on-one call, all you have to do is tap the “add participant” button at the top right of your smart phone and you are good to go. However, it is up to the user on the other end of the call to hop into the chat. A notification is usually sent out to the recipient who then decides to join the group call or not.
The best part is that WhatsApp has been kind enough to design this platform so that it works under all kinds of network receptions. This means that someone in Africa will be able to talk to three other people in America on the same video call without experiencing the usual network hiccups. Unfortunately, four people is the maximum number on a single audio video call, and so you cannot use it for occasions such as video conferences.
This is not the only feature that WhatsApp has rolled out this year. Since it hit the 1.5 billion mark of active users in January, the Facebook-owned company has introduced several features. One recent update entails allowing group admins to send messages to a group all at once. WhatsApp wanted to give users in groups the ability to receive and send important information fast and efficiently. What’s more, group admin control is at a new level because now admins can restrict members from changing group descriptors, a feature that was initially available to both group members and admins.
But don’t celebrate yet, because this new feature does not cause as much excitement as what Apple has in store for iOS users. Apple is working on what it calls Group FaceTime, which will allow 32 users on a single call. However, this feature will come with iOS 12, which is Apple’s newest software. So ideally Apple is out to beat all the rest, because apart from WhatsApp’s 4 person group chat which is simply a good gesture in the right direction, skypes video call feature supports up to 25 users at a time as does Google’s hangouts.
Since Facebook took over WhatsApp, many good things are coming out on this messaging App to enhance the experiences of users. Although this is proof of progress, other companies have already been there and done that, so WhatsApp needs to revolutionize its features if it hopes to take over this niche.