WhatsApp users can now make calls with up to 32 people simultaneously – that’s a pretty substantial upgrade compared to the previous maximum limit of eight people. The latter was introduced back in April 2020, during the first few weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic when lockdowns forced millions indoors. Facebook-owned WhatsApp responded to the sudden demand for voice and video calls by doubling the previous limit.
And now, the limit has been increased for iPhone owners once again. WhatsApp teased the arrival of the new upper limit a few weeks ago. And now, the update is finally here.
If you’re running the latest version of WhatsApp on iOS, version 22.8.80, you can now launch a voice call with up to 32 people. To do that, you’ll need to open a chat with 32 or fewer people, then tap the phone icon in the top right-hand corner of the conversation.
Alternatively, you can click on the Calls tab in the bottom left-hand corner, tap the phone icon in the top-right, then select New Group Call. You’ll then be able to add up to 32 participants to the voice call.
The call is made over an internet connection – either Wi-Fi or mobile data – so it won’t count towards your monthly minutes allowance. If you’re abroad, you won’t be charged extra to add people from a different country into your WhatsApp voice call.
As well as increasing the number of participants able to make a voice call, the latest update brings a redesigned interface with waveforms to illustrate the audio.
If you aren’t able to make a big group call at the moment, you should head to the App Store and download the latest update to WhatsApp. If you have automatic updates enabled on your iPhone (head to Settings > App Store > Automatic Downloads > then toggle the App Updates to On) then the feature should be available in your chat app right now.
There’s plenty more coming from WhatsApp in the coming weeks to be excited about. According to WABetaInfo, a website and social media account that scours the latest beta test versions of the world’s most popular chat app to unearth hints at new unannounced features before they’re released, the teams at Facebook are developing an entirely new set of reactions.
This will allow WhatsApp users to respond to a text message, photo, video or voice note with any emoji they want. Apple already offers a similar feature in its iMessage service, which lets users apply emoji and stickers to any text bubble.