Signal increases its video group call limit to 40 participants

The Messaging app Signal has increased its video group call limit to 40 members.

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New Delhi: The Messaging app Signal has increased its video group call limit to 40 members. Earlier, the app released its end-to-end encrypted group call feature a year ago, supporting only 5 participants.

The Signal detailed that the feature required some new engineering. “There is no off-the-shelf software that would allow us to support calls of that size while ensuring that all communication is end-to-end encrypted, so we built our own open-source Signal Calling Service to do the job,” Signal wrote.

Signal called this possibility due to SFU architecture. The Selective Forwarding Unit (SFU), is able to ensure media flow securely in the platform. Each participant sends their media to a server. Then, the server “forwards” the media to recipients without viewing or altering it. The architecture has been active for more than a year.

The Rival WhatsApp has offered end-to-end encrypted group video calls since 2018. However, it can only handle eight participants at a time. With Signal’s new SFU architecture it is possible that WhatsApp will soon be scaling up its call limit as well, in time.

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