WhatsApp is working hard to keep its rapidly growing number of users happy. The desktop app for the service is currently beta testing video calling that supports up to 50 people on a single call. With WhatsApp moving to support 50 people on a call, it would be a more viable alternative to Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype.
The way the 50-person video calls would work with WhatsApp would be to transfer people into the new Facebook Messenger Rooms service that was announced not long ago. The WhatsApp menu would have a shortcut that redirects people to Facebook Messenger Rooms, where they're able to create a virtual meeting room within the Facebook service and invite users to join.
Since the video calls would be conducted in Messenger Rooms, they would support virtual backgrounds for individual participants. There's no clear indication at this time when support for up to 50 callers will exit beta and be integrated into the public version of WhatsApp Web. If all the services doing is shooting people to Messenger Rooms, it would seem the functionality is ready to roll out.
Late last month, WhatsApp gained the ability to support eight video call participants, which was twice as many as the app previously supported. For that feature to work, everyone on the video call must have the latest version of the app installed. WhatsApp has seen its user numbers grow significantly since the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the world. It previously reported that people, on average, spend more than 15 billion minutes talking each day via WhatsApp calls.