WhatsApp Announces Improved Video Calling Features for Mobile and Desktop Apps

WhatsApp Announces Improved Video Calling Features for Mobile and Desktop Apps


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WhatsApp announced several feature improvements related to video calling for mobile and desktop users on Thursday. The participant limit for group video calls has been expanded across platforms, allowing up to 32 members to join the same call, up from the previous limit of just eight participants allowed on the WhatsApp Desktop app. In addition to the expansion of the video calling feature, users can also share their audio when sharing their screen with other participants.

WhatsApp improves video calls across mobile and desktop apps

In a blog post, the Meta-owned instant messaging platform explained that the latest update will bring improvements to screen sharing on the app. When watching videos with other participants while sharing their screen, a user will also be able to share the audio playing, according to the company.

WhatsApp also revealed an increase in the number of participants who can join video calls together. While up to 32 mobile users could join the calls, the number was previously limited to eight for users on the desktop apps. It has now been made uniform across all devices and up to 32 participants can be part of a video, call irrespective of which platform a user is joining from.

A new ‘speaker spotlight’ feature will also be introduced, highlighting the current speaker on a video call. In theory, it could prove to be useful when attending video calls in large groups, enabling users to easily identify the speaker without requiring them to go through the participant list.

WhatsApp says the new batch of features will be rolled out to users across mobile and desktop platforms in the coming weeks.

WhatsApp’s new codec for audio calls

In addition to the video calling features, Meta Platforms also introduced a new tool which aims to improve the call quality. The feature – known as Meta Low Bitrate (MLow) codec – helps compress the audio/video captured for efficient transfer over the internet, according to Meta.

Although compression often comes at a cost of quality, Meta says the MLow codec is an upgrade over the previous open source Opus codec and can improve the audio quality, especially on slow-speed connections. This codec was already available on other Meta platforms such as Instagram and Messenger, and is now being rolled out to WhatsApp.

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