In the past month we’ve made more WhatsApp video calls than ever, relishing that its video service is more robust than competitors. The popularity of WhatsApp is the biggest strength of the app in these difficult times; it’s far easier to video call someone you have saved as a contact than it is to head on over to Skype, search for a username, invite them, wait for a response and then pray the signal doesn’t die halfway through the call. Having our frequent contacts available instantly is an absolute blessing. And yet… what if we could have… more?
See, folks are involved in approximately 39 annoying WhatsApp groups at any given time, only a few populated with very close friends you actually want to talk with. It’s a mission if there are more than eight members in a group as that’s the maximum number of participants WhatsApp can squeeze into a video call. While it’s certainly an improvement over the previous limit of four, the chat app has opted to venture into the realm of further expansion. Specifically, the realm of 50 members in a single video chat.
This information comes via WABetaInfo, which recently noted a new option for WhatsApp video calls. Specifically, an option to integrate with Messenger Rooms, a service provided by WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook. Spotted as a new feature in the beta versions of both the mobile and browser clients of WhatsApp, making a WhatsApp call with Messenger Rooms will allow users to add 50 participants to video chats. Who actually has a WhatsApp consisting of 50 people? Some poor soul that obviously craves the sweet release of the “Leave Group” option. Also, people who work in PR.
Apparently you don’t even need a Facebook account to use this new feature when it launches, as long as you’re okay with a lack of encryption. No word yet on when we can expect the feature to be added to the final version of the app but we suspect it’ll be pretty soon, if Facebook wants to continue riding the surging wave of video chat popularity.