Group video and voice calls now support up to 8 participants
The CoVID-19 epidemic means that many of us are isolated from friends and family. As a result, we see that people all over the world are turning to voice and video calling on WhatsApp more than ever. Group calling has been particularly helpful, and our customers have asked us to connect with as many people as possible. As of today, we’re doubling the number of WhatsApp video or voice calls to 4 to 8 people at a time.
Over the past month, the average person has been talking to WhatsApp for more than 15 billion minutes every day before the epidemic. And just like text messages, all those calls are protected with encryption from end to end. We’ve built Group Calling to make it available to as many users as possible, to low-end devices and people in slow network conditions.
We know that people may want different ways of communicating at home, which is why WhatsApp is also available on the portal – which many users have told us about their residents during quarantine. The room can be shared with the family.
In order to access the new, advanced partner limit on WhatsApp calls, all participants in the call need to update to the latest version of WhatsApp available on iPhone or Android today. Ask your friends and family to update the WhatsApp.
April 28, 2020
Stick to stickers
Billions of stickers are sent to the WhatsApp every day to help people share private thoughts and impressions without typing a single word. Since we launched the stickers 18 months ago, they have become one of the fastest growing ways to connect with people on the WhatsApp.
We’re excited to work with the World Health Organization to launch a “door-to-door” sticker pack that will help people stay connected to the epidemic in Cove 19 and beyond. Such stickers can be ridiculous, educational and universal, breaking down language, age and other barriers.
We hope people enjoy using these stickers to check in on their loved ones, especially those who feel lonely, lonely and scared. The pack offers creative ways to remind people to wash their hands, maintain distance, maintain exercise and, more importantly, celebrate medical heroes as well as personal heroes in our lives.
The “Home Together” sticker pack is now available in the WhatsApp, including local text for 9 languages in Arabic, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.
April 21, 2020
Keep WhatsApp private and private
Because of COVID-19, billions of people are unable to see their friends and family in person, and people are relying more on the WhatsApp for communication than ever before. People are talking to doctors, teachers and isolated loved ones through WhatsApp during this crisis. That’s why all your messages and calls on WhatsApp end secretly by default to give you a safe place to have your private conversation.
Last year we introduced users to the concept of messages that have been forwarded multiple times. These messages are marked with double arrows, indicating that they are not close. In fact, these messages are less personal than those sent on the WhatsApp. We are now introducing a limit so that these messages can only be sent to one chat at a time.
As a private messaging service, we’ve taken a number of steps over the years to help keep the conversation intimate. For example, we first set limits on forwarded messages to prevent virality. At the moment, we’ve seen a 25% drop in forward messages globally.
Is all forwarding bad? Certainly not. We pass on useful information to many users, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers. In recent weeks, people have used the WhatsApp to provide public moments to help frontline health workers. However, we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding that users have told us they can feel overwhelmed and can help spread misinformation. We believe that it is important to reduce the spread of these messages in order to keep WhatsApp private.
In addition to this change, we are working directly with NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organization and more than 20 national ministries of health, to help people connect with accurate information. Together, these trusted officials have sent hundreds of millions of messages to the public asking for direct information and advice. You can find out more about these efforts, as well as how to gather potential superstition, counterfeiting, and rumor-mongering organizations on our Corona Virus Information Hub.
We understand that people now need to be able to communicate privately. Our teams strive to run the WhatsApp reliably during this unprecedented global crisis. We will continue to listen to your feedback and improve the way people share with everyone