WhatsApp is updated with 4 important new features in video calls

Video calls came to WhatsApp in 2016almost a decade ago and 7 years after the launch of the application in 2009. Since then, the function has evolved, but not as much as others of WhatsApp. 8 years ago they could only be one to onethey went up to 8 participants in 2020. Two years later, links for video calls arrived with which it was possible to invite people who were not on the user’s contact list. In 2023 the function arrived share screen From the phone and the number of participants was increased to a total of 16. And that has been the most relevant thing, until now.

WhatsApp has announced a series of new features that it is rolling out in the application, so you will need to update it to enjoy them. There are 4 aspects with which WhatsApp wants to bring its function closer to what other applications more focused on video calls offer, such as Zoom. It is not comparable to them, but they represent an important change.

Screen sharing becomes in real screen sharing by adding the audio. This makes the feature ideal for watch videos with other contactssince the experience becomes complete.

The number of participants increases to 32. Still far from the 100 that Zoom supports or the 50 of Skype, but ahead of the 20 of Microsoft Teams or the 30 of Telegram.

With more participants, it becomes more difficult to identify who is speaking at any given moment. Featured Speaker feature highlights the window of the person doing it and makes it easier to follow the video call.

Improvements in WhatsApp video calls.WhatsApp.

Finally, video calls experience an improvement in audio quality with the introduction of a new codec developed by Meta. The audio and video codecs are responsible for compressing the data to send it over the Internet efficiently and maintaining the experience, of the video call in this case, in real time. As explained Goal, the size of raw audio captured in a typical call is 768 kbps which once compressed by modern codecs is around 25-30 kbps. Depending on the codec, the resulting quality after information loss will be better or worse.

WhatsApp has been using the open source codec in recent years Opuslaunched in 2012. In October 2022Meta started using Encodecwhich achieves sharp quality at very low bit rates, but which needs high-end hardware to run.

The new codec, developed by Meta, Goal Low Bitrate or Mlowimproves audio quality, especially on mobile phones with low quality connections. According to the company, double the quality of Opus using 10% less device resources, so the improvement in video calls should be noticeable, both in quality and fluidity of the experience. With Mlow, which was already being used on Instagram and Messenger, “you will be able to make calls without interference from noise and echo if the environment is noisy, as well as video calls with higher resolution if your connection is faster,” explains WhatsApp in its Blog.