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WhatsApp announces new updates for its video calling feature

WhatsApp Video Calling New Features

WhatsApp is making some upgrades to its video calling feature which will roll out over the next few weeks on mobile and desktop. The instant messaging app is trying to make the video calling experience better for sessions with multiple users.

A feature called Speaker Spotlight will automatically highlight the person speaking in the video call and put them first on the screen. The company will also let you share your screen with an audio feed during video calls, which can be ideal for watching videos together.

WhatsApp is also streamlining the participant limit for video calls. Now all platforms, including desktop and mobile, where WhatsApp is available can have video calls with a maximum of 32 participants.

The company previously allowed up to 32 users for video calls on mobile devices but had different limits for other platforms. For instance, it allowed only eight people to attend a video call on its apps for Windows and Mac.

The video calling feature was first introduced in 2015 and the number of participants was increased to eight in 2020. It was initially limited to direct chats and groups on mobile devices but was later updated to work with multiple platforms.

WhatsApp also highlighted that its recently launched low-bitrate audio codec MLow improves video and audio call quality on mobile devices and delivers crisper audio even in poor network conditions.

"Calls made on mobile devices benefit from improved noise and echo cancellation, making it easier to have calls in noisy environments, and video calls have higher resolution for those with faster connections," it said in a blog post.

WhatsApp's latest feature drop brings it closer to video conferencing apps such as Zoom, which can highlight up to nine users as active speakers. The Meta-owned company is working on a stream of other features for a future rollout, including the ability to block profile photo screenshots, rank status updates, and an option to choose default media upload quality.

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