The WhatsApp group video call feature has already been confirmed by the company for roll out later this year, but it appears that beta testing for the feature has already begun for some users.
iOS build 2.18.52 and Android beta version 2.18.145+ seem to have the WhatsApp group video call feature baked in, but it’s limited to a select few users so not everyone will see the capability on their app.
The information comes from WABeta Info, which is a Twitter account known for sharing information about upcoming features of WhatsApp that is generally regarded to be pretty accurate. The WhatsApp group video call option has been spotted for a few users and it seems to be at random with no invitation system like we see with similar apps.
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WhatsApp for iOS 2.18.52: group calls!
It’s available for a few users only and it doesn’t work with an invitation system.
You need to be ****VERY**** lucky!
The same is valid for Android beta 2.18.145+! pic.twitter.com/qsDprH3VBQ
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) May 18, 2018
If you’d like to check if the WhatsApp group video call feature is live for you, you can do a normal WhatsApp call and see if a new button appears that has the option for “Add participant.” If it does, congratulations! You’re part of the beta testing for the WhatsApp group video call feature. If it’s not there, you’ll probably be stuck waiting with the rest of us until the option is rolled out to the general public.
As mentioned above, the WhatsApp group video call feature is a limited rollout, but for those who have access to the option they’ll be able to enjoy video chats with up to four participants in a single call including the person who initiated – at least according to an image that was shared at the Facebook F8 developer conference where news of this feature was first revealed.
In addition to the WhatsApp group video call feature, we’re also supposed to be getting a new Stickers feature on both iOS and Android – and that has also been spotted at least on the Android version of the beta as well.
At this point, neither WhatsApp or their parent company Facebook has confirmed when these features are coming for a full release, but they have stated that the WhatsApp group video call option will be here in its entirety sometime in 2018. Instagram, another Facebook-owned app, is also planning to offer a similar feature for users in the near future.
Hopefully we see the rollout of the full WhatsApp group video call utility sooner rather than later, as it’s a feature that users have been asking for for quite some time. While WhatsApp got its start as a simple text messaging replacement, it has quickly become much more fully-featured with media, voice, and video options that rival the best from any other competing service.
The addition of the group video call feature will just continue to reaffirm the dominance that WhatsApp has as a messaging service in the majority of the world outside of the United States. Facebook has seen great success with their acquisition of WhatsApp and seem fully committed to establishing it as a global leader in the messaging scene.