Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Tuesday doubled the number of participants in a video or voice call from four to eight people at a time on its platform.

To access the new limit on WhatsApp calls, all participants in a call need to update to the latest version of WhatsApp available on iPhone or Android.

Over the last month, people on average are spending over 15 billion minutes talking each day on WhatsApp calls, well above a typical day before the pandemic, said the company.

"Just like written messages, all those calls are protected with end-to-end encryption. We have built group calling in a way that makes it available for as many users as possible, including people on lower-end devices and slow network conditions," WhatsApp said in a statement.

In the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing times, more people are turning to voice and video calling on WhatsApp and other platforms.

Facebook last week announced Messenger Rooms that will allow group video calls of up to 50 people. In Facebook Messenger Rooms, the users can post links in their News Feed or in Groups or event pages.

When a room is created, anyone can join via their browser, though hosts can opt to "lock" rooms to new guests to prevent party crashers.

"We know people may want different ways to connect while they're at home, which is why WhatsApp is also available on (video calling device) Portal," informed WhatsApp.

According to the company, over 700 million people are making calls on Messenger and WhatsApp daily.

A few days back, Indian instant messaging app Telegram had announced that it is developing a group video calling service that is due to be launched later this year.

However, Telegram did not release many details about the feature of its upcoming service but it appears to be taking a dig at Zoom, which is facing pressure to fix several privacy issues. Telegram also claimed that it has now over 400 million users across the world.

Moreover, Indian business events discovery platform 10Times on Tuesday announced the launch of “Floor”, a virtual event solution designed to provide digital real-time correspondence between singular and multiple parties. The product is designed to offer an alternative to physical meetings and seminars in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

(With Agency Inputs)