WhatsApp Encrypts Group Video Calling for Everyone

The Independent
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Not sure about you, but many in our familia use WhatsApp to connect with friends and family, especially those outside of the U.S.  At home, the abuelitos are glued to their phones getting messages from grand kids, and friends they’ve reconnected with from over 50 years ago.  They are on constant class reunion chats. It’s great to see that sense of family and the cheer you see in their smiles when reconnecting. It’s priceless.

Over the last couple years, people have enjoyed making voice and video calls on WhatsApp. In fact, WhatsApp users spend over 2 billion minutes on calls per day.

Well I hope you’re sitting down, because now you can add 4 people on a group chat! Whoa, this takes it to a new level. I can’t wait to see more smiling faces. WhatsApp announced  that group calls for voice and video are coming to WhatsApp starting July 30th 2018. You can make a group call with up to four people total – anytime and anywhere. Just start a one-on-one voice or video call and tap the new “add participant” button in the top right corner to add more contacts to the call.

Group calls are always end-to-end encrypted, and WhatsApp has designed calling to work reliably around the world in different network conditions. The feature is currently rolling out on the iPhone and Android versions of the app.

Facebook Messenger supports group video calls of up to 50, while Snapchat supports 16 participants. Apple’s FaceTime will work with up to 32 people when iOS 12 launches later this year. Once the feature is live, you can start making group video calls within the app by taping on the new “add participant” option in the top right corner of the screen while you’re video chatting.

Additional WhatsApp Features:

  • Message your friends and family for free*. WhatsApp uses your phone’s Internet connection to send messages so you can avoid SMS fees.
  • Keep in touch with the groups of people that matter the most, like your family or coworkers. With group chats, you can share messages, photos, and videos with up to 256 people at once. You can also name your group, mute or customize notifications, and more.
  • With voice calls, you can talk to your friends and family for free*,even if they’re in another country. And with free* video calls, you can have face-to-face conversations for when voice or text just isn’t enough. WhatsApp voice and video calls use your phone’s Internet connection, instead of your cell plan’s voice minutes, so you don’t have to worry about expensive calling charges.
  • With WhatsApp on the web and desktop, you can seamlessly sync all of your chats to your computer so that you can chat on whatever device is most convenient for you. Download the desktop app or visit whatsapp.com to get started.
  • Send photos and videos on WhatsApp instantly. You can even capture the moments that matter to you most with a built-in camera. With WhatsApp, photos and videos send quickly even if you’re on a slow connection.
  • Send PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, slideshows and more, without the hassle of email or file sharing apps. You can send documents up to 100 MB, so it’s easy to get what you need over to who you want.

So who are you planning to add to your first group chat?