Signal increases group video call limit to 40 users

Signal now allows up to 40 people to participate in a group video conference. Despite the increased number of call participants, the messaging app says that the platform assures that all communication is end-to-end encrypted. Signal said it uses “Selective Forwarding” technology, which allows calls to be routed through servers that transfer the call’s contents to other participants without sacrificing privacy. It’s presently being rolled out to Signal’s Android and iOS versions.

“We launched group calls using a modified version of one of them, but shortly found that even with heavy modifications, we couldn’t reliably scale past 8 participants due to high server CPU usage. To scale to more participants, we wrote a new Selective Forwarding Unit (SFU) from scratch in Rust,” Signal noted in a blog post. It noted that it has been serving Signal group calls for 9 months and scales up to 40 participants and could hold more in the future.

WhatsApp has just added numerous new features to its joinable calls. On a video call, though, it can only support eight people. Even if they miss a group call, users can call a WhatsApp group and join via the group chat window in the messaging app. Near the group chat icon, users will now notice a dedicated button. Telegram added the option to join a group video call with up to 1000 people in July, as well as the ability to send video messages. When broadcasting in any video conference, it also allows users to share screens on one-on-one calls on their devices.

Signal got popular in India earlier this year as a result of Facebook-owned WhatsApp’s disputed terms of service. Signal was even the number one app on the App Store in India for a short time. Signal allows customers to transfer voice calls to its servers in order to keep their identities hidden from their contacts. The feature works in a similar way to a VPN.

For calls and messages, Signal emphasises encryption. It also ensures that the metadata of users is encrypted. Users can assure complete anonymity by using Signal’s Sealed Sender function, since they will be unable to determine who is messaging whom. Signal encrypts all local files by default with a four-digit password and allows users to generate an encrypted local backup, which you may do as well. Encrypted group calls are now available in the app.

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