WhatsApp is releasing a 50-person conference call feature on its platform, essentially challenging the dominance of Zoom, Google, and Skype.
The video coronavirus pandemic has an immense impact in the video conferencing business. As governments impose lockdowns, workers are turning into platforms like WhatsApp to continue their work.
Despite a bit late to the party, WhatsApp is throwing its hat into the table. The messaging platform is releasing its own video conferencing features which can support up to 50 people. This is in direct competition with Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype.
WhatsApp enters the market
The new WhatsApp feature is still in beta, and it is exclusive to the platform’s desktop version. It is not exactly an integrated feature of the platform. Instead, what it does is redirect users into Facebook Messenger Rooms, a service that allows video conferencing.
It is important to note that Facebook owns WhatsApp, so it is only normal to embed such services into its platform. This is common in many large tech companies like Google and Facebook.
The feature adds a shortcut on the messaging platform that redirects users to the Messenger Rooms platform. From there, users can create their own virtual meeting rooms.
The same privacy you expect from a face-to-face conversation (remember them?) now with up to 8 people. End-to-end encrypted. Update your WhatsApp to try it out. pic.twitter.com/xZUX60mysD
— WhatsApp Inc. (@WhatsApp) April 28, 2020
Users can do this from the WhatsApp Web app. This means that they do not necessarily have to install Facebook Messenger Rooms to use it.
The company has yet to confirm when it plans to roll out the service. However, there are rumors claiming that the roll out will be soon. The company plans to capitalize on the current surge of demands in video conferencing service.
Video conferencing in the time of the pandemic
WhatsApp is the latest tech company to bank in on the surge of video conferencing. During the outset of the pandemic, Zoom became the de facto platform for video conferencing. As the demand grows, companies like Google and Skype each updated their platforms to support such service.
Recently, WhatsApp updated its platform to support eight-person video calls. Rumor has it that the 50-person video call feature will be available for the Android and iOS platforms very soon. Moreover, the company can integrated directly into Facebook’s massive user base without no problem.
Clearly, Zoom is still in the lead. However, Google and Skype are also stepping up their game in order to snatch some of Zoom’s massive user base. With WhatsApp’s recent upgrade, the company is poised to be a contender as well.
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