Meta Is Giving WhatsApp A Video Call Upgrades That Makes It More Zoom-Like

WhatsApp

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on various aspects, and that remote working gave given a glimpse of what was that time's future.

And one of the few tech companies that brilliantly shined, was Zoom. The app quickly took its pace during remote working and remote learning, which all happened during social distancing that was imposed during the pandemic.

But now, with COVID-19 no longer a pandemic, WhatsApp is introducing an update that makes it become more Zoom-like.

In a blog post, WhastApp said that:

"Since we brought Calling to WhatsApp back in 2015, we’ve continued to improve it with the introduction of group calls, video calls, and multi-platform support."

"Today we have several updates that will make calls across your devices even bigger and better, rolling out over the next few weeks."

Features include:

  1. Screen sharing with audio: Ideal for watching videos together, now when users share their screen, they can also share their audio.
  2. More participants: Now users can have up to 32 people on a video call across all their devices. That limit had already been in place for video calls on mobile devices, but not on desktop apps: WhatsApp on Windows was limited to 16 people, and on Mac app the limit was eight.
  3. Speaker spotlight: Easily see who’s talking with the speaker automatically highlighted and appearing first on screen.

Long story short, Meta is making some improvements to WhatsApp video calls that should make it more useful for conversations with large groups of people.

And what's more, WhatsApp also said that it remains focused on improving audio and video quality.

The messaging app mentioned about Meta's project called the 'Meta Low Bitrate codec', which is designed to improve call reliability.

"Calls made on mobile devices benefit from improved noise and echo cancellation, making it easier to have calls in noisy environments, and video calls have higher resolution for those with faster connections. Audio is crisper overall, even if you have poor network connectivity or are using an older device," said WhatsApp.

WhatsApp

Or also called 'MLow', the technology is meant to bring real-time communication (RTC) for billions of people through Meta's apps, including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.

RTC is designed to provide a high-quality experience for everyone, regardless of their internet connection's quality and speed.

And MLow here, is a tool to improves audio quality especially for those on slow-speed connections.

The idea is to encode encode high-quality audio at lower bitrates to unlock more effective Forward Error Correction (FEC) strategies. This way, MLow that can pack FEC at much lower bitrates, can significantly help to improve the audio quality in packet loss scenarios.

"As more and more people have relied on our products to make calls over the years, we’ve been working on new ways to ensure all calls have a solid audio quality," Meta said.

Published: 
14/06/2024