WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned voice, video, and messaging app, recently announced that group video calling has finally arrived for their 1.5 billion users. The cross-platform app that sees more than 60 billion messages sent per day said that its user base can now make group video calls with up to four people in total per call. To add more participants to the call all you have to do is start a one-on-one voice or video call and then click on the “add participant” button located in the top right corner of your screen. Even if all four call participants are based in four different contents, they will still be able to video chat with each other as long as they have installed the latest version of WhatsApp on Android or an Apple device and have a reliable internet connection. If one of the people drops, even if it is the person who started the call, the remaining three will remain connected.
The long-awaited group video calling option for WhatsApp does not come as a surprise – back in May, Facebook announced that group video calling capabilities would be added to WhatsApp’s list of features sooner than later. Speculators were expecting it to happen at some point in the fourth quarter of 2018, but WhatsApp managed to roll out the new feature less than three months after the tech summit. The new feature was a needed move for the company as they were one of the last popular online messaging platforms not supporting group video chats. Rival messaging platforms such as Giant has been offering the option for simultaneous group calls for up to 200 people for years.
What are the risks of WhatsApp’s new feature?
WhatsApp has been enjoying a constant user growth ever since it was created back in 2009. Sadly, the increased popularity attracted some of the wrong crowds too – online predators see the trendy platform as yet another playground where they can execute all sorts of phishing and scam campaigns. Whether it is a fake retail coupon or an invitation to an “unbelievable deal” that leads you to a malicious website, hackers have been trying to lure WhatsApp users into trouble for years. With the introduction of group video calling they now have one more tool to get even more creative with their phishing techniques.
WhatsApp is particularly popular among vulnerable groups of people as it is considered very user-friendly and does not require password setup – the app is easily accessible by youngsters and the elderly. If you want to be on the safe side, the connected devices used by all members of your family must have antivirus software that comes with parental control capabilities. Keeping an eye on the online activity of your loved ones must be a priority!