WhatsApp Boosts Video Call Capabilities with New Features and Improved Audio Codec

15 Jun 2024



WhatsApp Announces Enhanced Video Calling Features for Mobile and Desktop Apps

On Thursday, WhatsApp unveiled a series of updates enhancing video calling capabilities for both mobile and desktop users. The platform has increased the participant limit for group video calls from eight to 32 members on the WhatsApp Desktop app, aligning it with the mobile app's capacity. Furthermore, users have now been granted the capability to broadcast their audio while simultaneously sharing their screen visuals with fellow participants.

In a blog post, the Meta-owned instant messaging service detailed that the latest update includes upgrades to screen sharing. Users watching videos with others while sharing their screen can also share the audio playing, ensuring everyone hears the same sounds simultaneously.

WhatsApp has also expanded the number of participants who can join video calls together. While the mobile app already supports up to 32 members, this limit is also applied to desktop users. With this update, up to 32 participants can join a video call regardless of their platform.

A new feature, called ‘speaker spotlight,' will be introduced to highlight the current speaker during a video call. This could be particularly useful in large group calls, helping users identify the current speaker without scrolling through the participant list.

These new features will be rolled out to users on mobile and desktop platforms in the coming weeks.

WhatsApp’s New Codec for Audio Calls

Beyond video calling enhancements, Meta Platforms has introduced a new tool aimed at improving call quality. The feature, named Meta Low Bitrate (MLow) codec, enhances the compression of audio/video for efficient internet transfer. Meta claims that this new codec is an improvement over the previous Opus codec, offering better audio quality even on slow-speed connections. This codec is already being utilized on other Meta platforms, such as Instagram and Messenger, and is now being introduced to WhatsApp.