Just this month, WhatsApp has announced that they would come with video calls for groups of up to four people. They want to raise that limit further to 8. Of course, not everyone will get this feature tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. You will have to sign up for a TestFlight on iOS or for a Beta on Android.
Also, keep in mind that the places are limited. And even after you do install one of these versions, the feature will not be active immediately. You may have to reinstall the app in order to have the new configuration files from the servers, but there is a chance that you may not be part of the test subject group for that feature.
The competition between WhatsApp and Zoom is on
But there is also a catch. You will have to convince seven other participants to get the new feature. Even with an invitation, the new functionality doesn’t become active just like that. No one out there has managed to place a call with more than four people at once. But this is bound to change soon. And here is why.
The largest competitor of WhatsApp is Telegram, and this one still does not have an official video chat function. There’s also Zoom, which is keeping the data protectors awake at night. Messenger Threema is slowly upgrading, as well. They already have a beta phase for video calls.
But the problem is that group video calls are missing entirely from the alternatives Threema, Signal, and, the biggest of them all, Telegram. WhatsApp is currently looking for a new and unique selling point. They know they won’t defeat Zoom, or Google Hangouts Meet, or Jitsi, but they are still trying to give their best to their users.