WhatsApp Voice Chat for Larger Groups is Rolling Out
WhatsApp has unveiled a new voice chat feature for larger groups, offering users an innovative way to communicate within the app. This feature, announced on Monday, allows members of a group chat to engage in live voice conversations while still having the option to text.
Starting a voice chat is straightforward. Users can open the group chat where they wish to initiate a voice chat, tap on the icon in the top right corner of the screen, and select ‘Start Voice Chat’.
Unlike traditional group calls that ring every member, voice chats notify group members with a push notification, inviting them to join. Participants in the voice chat are displayed in a banner at the bottom of the screen, providing visibility on who is actively speaking.
WhatsApp noted several key aspects of this new feature:
- Voice chats are available for groups ranging from 33 to 128 people.
- The feature is accessible only on the user’s primary device.
- Group members not participating in the voice chat can view the profiles of those who are, either from the chat header or the Calls tab.
- Voice chats will automatically end if everyone leaves the chat or if no one joins the first or last person in the chat for 60 minutes.
- To exit a voice chat, users simply tap the hang-up icon.
Call controls are integrated at the top of the chat, allowing users to easily unmute, hang up, or message the group without leaving the conversation. “You’ll soon have the option to talk it out live with whoever can join or keep texting with whoever can’t,” WhatsApp stated, emphasizing the versatility of the feature.
The rollout of voice chats is set to occur globally over the coming weeks, initially targeting groups with 33 or more members, on both iOS and Android platforms. This update marks a significant enhancement in WhatsApp’s offerings, catering to the diverse communication preferences of its large user base.