WhatsApp launches voice chat feature for less disruptive group calls: How it works

WhatsApp has started rolling out a new voice chat feature that will offer a better experience when making group calls on the messaging service. Currently, group calls ring members’ devices, which may not be ideal – especially when some participants are in different time zones. Instead, voice chat will be less intrusive and allow group members to perform other tasks together on the messaging app, much like the group call features available on apps like Slack and Discord.

Voice chat rollout The announcement was made on Monday by WhatsApp on Android via X (formerly known as Twitter). The feature is available for some users who have updated to the latest version of WhatsApp for Android and iOS from Google Play Store and App Store respectively. When voice chat is enabled for a group, members will see an option to start a voice chat in place of the group call button.

When a voice chat is started in a group chat by pressing the new waveform icon at the top right corner of the screen, group members will receive a push notification informing them that they can join. Everyone in the group – including people not part of the voice chat – will be able to see the participants’ profiles. You can also do other things on WhatsApp like send messages to other group members who are not part of the call.

The new feature allows users to leave and rejoin a voice chat repeatedly, and the voice chat will end once all participants leave. The voice chat will also end if no participants join – or if there is only one person in the chat for an hour.

WhatsApp’s announcement said that the voice chat feature will first be released for larger groups with more than 32 members. According to the messaging platform’s FAQ, the feature will be available to users in groups that have 33 to 128 participants. It will only be accessible through the user’s primary device – linked devices are not supported.

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