The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent quarantine it caused have made video calling services a mainstay of every household. While Zoom's popularity has skyrocketed, other services have done their best to catch up. Google's Duo added more features than we can count over the past few months, and upped the group call limit from 8 to 12 in March. That capacity has now been increased again to 32.
This story was originally published and last updated .
WhatsApp has supported group audio and video calls since 2018, but you have always been limited to calling three other people at one time. During times of stay-at-home orders and quarantines, that might not be enough to stay connected with all of your friends and family. An update to the WhatsApp beta channel improves that situation as it raises the limit to up to eight participants (including yourself) for the first few users, but it involves a server-side change, too.
To stop the current coronavirus pandemic, we all have to stay home and avoid meeting friends and family. Sadly, it's not necessarily easy to keep in touch with loved ones, but video calling services like Google Duo help alleviate this issue. The system had a limit of up to eight participants until now but has just raised it to twelve, allowing for larger virtual gatherings during the pandemic.
About a month ago, Google Duo began rolling out its much-awaited group calls. They started out in Indonesia, then quickly spread to India, Brazil, Mexico, the US, Canada, and many more countries. Although it's not official yet, it seems to be rolled out worldwide, but could possibly be behind a server-side flag so some users may have it while others not. However, until recently, group calls were limited to four people max, so you could only add three other participants beside yourself. Now, that's expanding to eight.
At the start of the month, Mark Zuckerberg announced at the Facebook F8 conference that group calls were coming to WhatsApp. The feature has been discovered in countless leaks and teardowns before, so the news was not a surprise to anyone. Over the past few days, reports have started springing up of group calls showing on iOS, and now it looks like the feature has also made its way to Android. But beware, this a server-side update so not everyone has it.