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    How to make WhatsApp group video calls in 2020

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    Martí Micolau

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    How to make WhatsApp group video calls. Seven tips and tricks for WhatsApp group video calling. With coronavirus isolation, group calls have become one of the best ways to mitigate loneliness. And the main application in this area is WhatsApp, a software that (almost) everyone has and that is very easy to use. However, do you know how to get the most out of group video calling? With these tricks of ours, WhatsApp group video calls will have no more secrets for you.

    To protect themselves from the spread of the coronavirus and other diseases, scientists urged the public to clean their phones twice a day; before lunch and before dinner. The media are full of advice on how to avoid spreading COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus. Most involve keeping your hands clean and not touching your face. But your hands don't just touch your face. What about your phone?

    In Spain, the Government issued the new Dpcm 11 March which provides for further restrictive measures throughout the national territory to combat the coronavirus emergency.

    Closure of hairdressers and beauty centers. Grocery stores, petrol stations, newsstands and tobacconists will remain open as well as pharmacies and parapharmacies, opticians and other commercial services for basic necessities such as those for animal care. Industries will remain open but with "security measures", that is, as long as they guarantee initiatives to avoid contagion.

    Although the most common thing is to write or send a voice note at most, WhatsApp is much more complete when it comes to communicating. And group video calls are a clear example of this: with them you can see and hear many of your contacts in real time. Simply enter a conversation and press the icon at the top of the video, so that the camera and microphone are automatically connected. Not only that, you can also invite multiple people and make a group video call on WhatsApp.

    Seven tips and tricks for WhatsApp group video calling

    1. Video call up to four people on Whatsapp

    There are many instant messaging applications that have a calling and even video calling feature, as with WhatsApp - just open a conversation to discover the relevant icon at the top of the screen. Obviously, each of the functions has its own direct access: the call corresponds to a telephone; while the video call icon is a video camera. Clicking on the respective icons starts one or the other function with the chat contact, always in individual conversations.

    • Ten applications for making group video calls

    2. How to start a Whatsapp group video call?

    • Go to the WhatsApp group where the contacts you want to talk to in video and voice are located.
    • Click the call icon, top right.
    • Choose the people in the group with whom you want to establish communication: you will see that you can establish a call or a video call, depending on the icon.
    • After choosing your contacts, click on the camera icon and the group video call will be established.
    • You can choose anyone from the group, but only if you have them in your contact list: WhatsApp does not allow group video calls (nor voice calls) with unknown numbers.

    By doing so you can make WhatsApp group video calls with a maximum of four people, this is the limit imposed by WhatsApp. If you need more people, you can always use other video calling applications, find the link above.

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    3. How to add a new member to WhatsApp group video calls

    You can make a video call from a private or group chat, we have already explained how. Now, what if it is necessary join a contact when the video call is in progress? No problem, just follow these simple steps:

    • Open an individual video call with any contact.
    • Press on the screen and you will see an icon with the figure of a person and a '+' appears, top right. Click here.
    • Choose a participant and confirm: it will be added to the group video call as soon as you accept.

    You can do this twice until you get to one four-person group video call. So anyone can disconnect from the conversation - just hang up the video call. Additionally, contacts can add another participant to complete the quota of four; we will not be able to disconnect anyone, even if we have initiated the video call: we can only stop our video call.

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    4. Switch to another application without interrupting the video call

    Just because a group video call is running does not mean you cannot use another application as the mobile allows you to activate multitasking without losing audio or video. To do this:

    • By pressing on the phone screen during a video call you will see a small arrow icon at the top left. Click here.
    • The video window will get smaller to outperform the rest of the applications: you can use any app while the communication continues.
    • Switch to Twitter, Facebook, go back to WhatsApp or start Netflix - the video call will continue in Picture-in-Picture (PIP) mode.
    • To return to full screen, just click on the video call image and then on the square icon.

    5. Reduce spending on mobile data

    Calls (and video calls) add up to a huge MB expense. Our advice is to use them only when we are connected to the WiFi network, but it is not always possible. So there is a small configuration that facilitates lower data consumption in voice communications, it is the following:

    • Go to the WhatsApp settings (three dots at the top right).
    • Go to “Data and Storage”.
    • Go to “Call settings” and activate “Reduce data usage”.

    It's not a big savings and is designed more for calls than video calls, but it still saves you data. Most importantly, if you don't have too much data, limit video calls to times when it is strictly necessary.

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    6. Switch to the rear camera for WhatsApp group video calling

    This is not in itself a trick as it is part of the normal functions of video calling, but you may not know it. Why how do you switch between the front camera (to focus on you) and the rear camera (to focus on your surroundings)? simple:

    • Tap the screen during the video call.
    • You will see the icons appear at the bottom: press on the camera with the circular arrows. Then you can swap the cameras to focus what you need.

    7. Mute the audio of the video call or image

    During the video call, perhaps at some point you don't want to be seen or heard (or even both, all without interrupting the communication). And you can do it very easily: just press on the screen and click the camera icon to pause the video or the microphone icon to mute the sound. You can retrieve them in any time simply by pressing again.

    8. View your larger image

    During a video call, the caller's image will be played in a large format and yours in a small box. It is easy to change your small box so that your video is the one that takes up the full screen. And it's as easy as clicking on the small image: press once and the video will be swapped with the larger one, whenever you want.

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    9. Group video calls on WhatsApp with split screen

    With PIP or Picture-in-Picture, you can make a video call with another person while using another application, but you may need to split the screen to make a video call. group video call on the one hand and use another application on the other. You can do it like this:

    • Open the WhatsApp application and click on the button of the last applications open on your mobile.
    • Depending on your mobile, a general icon will appear to activate the 'split screen' or perhaps the icon will appear on any of the open apps (they are two parallel rectangles). Just press the button and drag WhatsApp to the top of the screen and to the second application at the bottom.
    • After splitting the screen, open the group video call on WhatsApp and use the other application as you wish.

    Video calls are universal as they are suitable for any Android phone capable of running WhatsApp (it must have a front-facing camera, something that even the cheapest smartphones implement). They can run with WiFi or mobile networks, are suitable for up to four participants, and the average data cost is around 7MB per minute. The quality and consumption depend on the stability of the network and also on the device.

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    Further Reading:

    • How to enable WhatsApp two-factor authentication for Android
    • Ten applications for making group video calls
    • How to make a video call from Messenger Rooms via WhatsApp
    • Then you can use your TV to watch WhatsApp video calls
    • How to share your screen in a Zoom meeting
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