Video calling has been one of WhatsApp's great features for a number of years, and we see today that it is getting a pretty big expansion. Back at the Facebook F8 conference in May, the company announced a group video for WhatsApp, but declined to say when the feature would start. Fast forward to today and the wait is over as group video calls are available on both iOS and Android.
Now you can not only restrict to one-to-one conversations, but also start a video call with up to three attendees to other people who will give you a split-screen view of each participant. This functionality is not limited to video calls only, as audio calls now support up to four people.
Calling a group call seems to be a direct undertaking. All you have to do is start a personal video or audio call with someone and then tap the "Add a Participant" button that has been added in the top right corner. From there, you can add more participants from your contacts list and include them in the conversation.
WhatsApp makes sure those calls are end-to-end encrypted, so you do not have to worry about picking up or listening to your calls. It should also offer some flexibility in terms of network reliability, as WhatsApp says it has "evolved to work reliably across the world under different network conditions."
Telephoning is a big part of WhatsApps service, so calling this group feature will surely be appreciated by the larger user base. Although it may not be as ambitious as Snapchat's 1