The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many of us are isolated from friends and family. As a result, we see that people all over the world are turning to voice and video calling on WhatsApp more than ever before. Group calling has been particularly useful and our users have asked to connect with more people at once. Starting today, we’re doubling the number of participants you can have on a WhatsApp video or voice call from 4 to 8 people at a time.
Over the last month, people on average are spending over 15 billion minutes talking each day on WhatsApp calls, well above a typical day before the pandemic. 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.
We know people may want different ways to connect while they’re at home, which is why WhatsApp is also available on Portal — which many users have told us has been a great way to share their living room with family during quarantine.
To access the new, higher participant limit on WhatsApp calls, all participants in a call need to update to the latest version of WhatsApp available on iPhone or Android today. Ask your friends and family to update WhatsApp to try it out.