WhatsApp today announced that it is adding support for group video and voice calls to its messaging platform for iOS and Android users. The move comes just a couple of months after Apple announced that group video calling is coming to FaceTime with iOS 12.
While FaceTime supports up to 32 people in a group video call, group video calling in WhatsApp is limited to four people in total. You can initiate a normal video call to one person and then use the “add participant” button in the top-right corner to add more people to the call.
Unlike FaceTime, the person speaking in the video call will not automatically be highlighted. This is because WhatsApp’s group video calling feature will show four cards for the four participants in the video call which is different from group video calling in FaceTime.
WhatsApp notes that its group video and voice calls are end-to-end encrypted, and it has been designed to work properly across the world with varying network conditions.
On paper, the only major difference between group video calling in WhatsApp and FaceTime is that the latter supports 8x more participants. However, for the majority of users, a limit of 4 participants in a group WhatsApp video calling is also going to be more than enough. With Facebook adding group video calling to WhatsApp, its likely that the company will bring group video calling support to its other platforms as well including Facebook Messenger and Instagram.