KUALA LUMPUR: Great news, WhatsApp users.
The popular messaging app has begun rolling out a much-requested new update to video group chats.
You can now speak and see up to three people simultaneously in a group chat – regardless of where those people are.
The latest group voice and video call feature, which was announced at Facebook's F8 developer conference earlier this year, went live on July 30 for both Android and iOS devices around the globe.
The feature is being gradually rolled out in stages, so it may take a few days before the update appears on your phone.
Here's how the new feature works:
You will need to start a new call with one user first. Then click on the "Add Participant" button at the top-right corner of your screen to individually add more contacts into your current call.
A maximum number of four people are allowed to be in a group call all at once.
Calls cannot be started from existing group chats. At least for now.
WhatsApp also said that the feature is designed to "work reliably around the world in different network conditions."
So, you'll be able to video chat relatives or friends overseas as long as all parties can get online.
As with all of WhatsApp's messages and chat services, group calls are end-to-end encrypted – meaning, no third party can decipher the data being communicated or stored.