Forget Zoom: WhatsApp just got the upgrade we’ve been waiting for

(Image credit: Sergei Konkov\TASS via Getty Images)

Need a new way to video call with friends? WhatsApp is raising its video call user limit from four to eight people, making it a more viable alternative to services like Zoom and Skype for big group chats.

As revealed by WABetaInfo (via 9to5Google), the most recent beta for the iOS and Android versions of WhatsApp permit up to eight users on a single video or audio call. All users need to be on the same version however, so you'll either have to persuade all of your friends to download the beta, or wait until the normal WhatsApp application is given the feature in the near future.

WhatsApp group call

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

If you want to use this new feature, you and all participants will need beta version of the iOS app (available from TestFlight) and or beta version 2.20.133 for Android. You can start a call either by going through the Calls tab and choosing the participants you want, or by pressing the call button in a group chat of eight or fewer people.

WhatsApp group video call

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

While doubling the number of potential users on a video call is a improvement, it's not going to make much of a difference compared to other popular video call services. Skype offers up to 50 users on the same call, with Google Hangouts and Zoom permitting up to 250 people if you use the paid version of their services.

You're unlikely to be moving your business calls to WhatsApp anytime soon. However, for personal calls with larger families or groups of friends, this higher limit will be a great benefit once it goes live in the stable version of the app.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.