An enhanced user interface for group chats has been added in an Updated version of WhatsApp for Windows PCs, increasing the app’s ability to be used for video conferences.
As explained by Meta:
“You can now host group video calls with up to eight people and audio calls with up to 32 people. We’ll continue to increase these limits over time so you can always stay connected with friends, family and coworkers.”
The updated Windows app runs more smoothly and loads pages faster than previous iterations. It also has improved multi-device syncing so you can switch between devices with ease while keeping your chats intact. Stickers and other in-app components like link previews will now also be visible in the desktop app.
It is good and will be a useful addition to your WhatsApp conversations. Nevertheless, video chats are very different from this:
We haven’t seen anything even remotely comparable to this within Meta’s gradually developing VR space since it published this preview of its upcoming metaverse virtual meeting experience a year and a half ago.
Even though Meta has invested billions of dollars in its metaverse experience and the creation of new tools that will enable this kind of advanced interaction, this remains the case. It’s a little difficult to be very enthused about desktop video chat when this was at least implicitly promised.
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Cool, and yes, probably useful. However, it appears to be a step backward. perhaps to the side.
In any case, it’s not the metaverse, and that concept is still a ways off. Thus, till then, WhatsApp allows for better video meetings. Worth remembering and attempting if you’re interested.
While building a Mac version, which is also in an early beta stage, Meta has also released a new WhatsApp beta for Android tablet users.
These also won’t allow you to appear in a virtual environment as a 3D robot, but they can be useful anyway.