Forget Zoom, WhatsApp now offers 8-person video calls on Windows

whatsapp for windows laptop with 8 person video call
(Image credit: WhatsApp)

Zoom might have cornered the market on video calls during the pandemic, but a bunch of the other best video chat apps have stepped up to try and claim those users for themselves. 

WhatsApp is the latest app to try and forge itself as a serious Zoom competitor, with a new update offering eight-person video calls and 32-person voice calls on Windows.

Both these features have been available on Android and iOS for quite some time, but that’s the case with most WhatsApp features. WhatsApp desktop video calling didn’t launch until March 2021, and two years later it’s finally gaining some parity with the mobile app.

Of course the 8-person limit on video calls isn’t all that impressive. Zoom and Microsoft Teams can handle 100 video call participants without asking you for a penny. Even Facebook Messenger, which is part of the same company as WhatsApp, lets up to 50 people join a video call. 

Thankfully WhatsApp says there are plans to increase the group call limit, though didn’t offer any extra details. Here’s hoping we get some limits on par with what Facebook Messenger has to offer — on WhatsApp’s mobile and desktop apps. 

It would be nice if those numbers could rival Zoom in the near future, particularly since WhatsApp has almost 2.5 billion users across the world. That’s a user-base that Zoom can only dream of.

Improving the desktop experience

The boost in call limits is part of WhatsApp’s push to improve user experience on desktops and tablets, particularly when it comes to cross-device use. The new Windows app update means WhatsApp now loads faster, and offers an interface a lot closer to what you’d see on mobile. 

Multi-device user has apparently been refined as well, with faster linking between devices, brand new features, and better cross-device syncing.

Mac users will also be happy to know that a brand new WhatsApp app is coming to Apple machines, and is currently in an early beta testing phase. Plus WhatsApp started rolling out a mobile update earlier this week, offering more refinements to group chats.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.