WhatsApp rolls out enhanced video calling

You can now share your screen and have group calls with up to 32 people.


WhatsApp is upgrading its video-calling chops. The Meta-owned platform is enhancing its calls with a new screen-sharing feature, a higher participant count and a speaker spotlight to try to make the platform a more viable competitor to Zoom, FaceTime and Google Meet.

Screen sharing could be handy for watching videos together, sharing content that isn’t easily shareable or troubleshooting your parents’ devices. It also allows for audio sharing, so you can easily chat with others while looking at their screen.

WhatsApp also expanded its participant count to 32 people on video calls. The new cap applies to all platforms. It’s a significant boost from the previous limit of eight people, first rolled out in 2020 as pandemic lockdowns kicked into full gear.

Speaker spotlight is another tweak in WhatsApp’s update (which is already a standard feature on many other calling platforms). In a group call, the person talking appears first in the row of participants, and their picture is highlighted, making it easier to identify who has the proverbial mic.

WhatsApp also highlighted its recent switch to the MLow codec for clearer calls. The new compression should clean up noise and echo cancellation, which is handy for noisy environments. Also, video calls will stream in a higher resolution if your network is fast enough to support it.