WhatsApp introduces Call Links to invite up to 32 people to a group call
WhatsApp Messenger has announced a new feature called Call Links. The option will allow users to invite other people to join a group call.
WhatsApp Call Links
To use it, tap the Calls tab in the app, and you should see an option at the top of the screen that says "Create Call Link". Select it, and WhatsApp will create a link that you can send to others via chat, to invite them to a group call. Recipients just need to tap the Join call button to accept the invite. It can be useful in case you forget to add someone to the call, or if a friend comes online during a call that is in progress, and wants to join in on the conversation.
Image courtesy: WhatsApp
The app's video calling option only allows 8 participants, but this is changing. To recall, the Meta-owned instant messaging and VOIP platform had revealed in April this year, that it is working on adding support for 32 person audio calls in its app. And now, Meta founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has shared a post on his Facebook page to announce that WhatsApp Call Links will support up to 32 users per call.
Call links are not limited to existing members in a group, you may also share these call links with people who are not in your contacts. That means the new feature is slightly different from the "Add Participant" option that is available from an ongoing voice call or video call screen.
The invite system is not restricted to ongoing calls, so you can choose to send out a call link to your friends to schedule a meeting for later, as seen in the above screenshot, and confirmed by the company's Twitter handle. The messaging service did not reveal more details about the new feature, but Will Cathcart, Head of WhatsApp, said that Call Links works with both video, and audio calls. Group calls are encrypted like regular calls, but are only supported on mobile devices, since group calling is not available in WhatsApp Desktop.
TechCrunch reports that WhatsApp Call Links will expire after 90 days of inactivity, that is a very generous limitation. While it is new to WhatsApp, call links have been available in Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, Google Meet, for a while. Zoom allows up to 100 attendees per call, but has a 40-minute time limit for free accounts. Google Meet is quite similar, with a 60-minute limit for free users. Since WhatsApp is a free-to-use service, it may not impose a time limit cap for group calls, and this could draw in more users to the platform.
WhatsApp Call Links are not available for users yet, Zuckerberg and Cathcart had mentioned that it would begin rolling out this week, likely being added via an app update.
WhatsApp has been busy lately, it recently shipped a native UWP version for Windows, and is working on a native app for macOS. The messaging platform allows you to delete messages 2 days after you send them, leave groups without alerting other members.
What are your thoughts on WhatsApp Call Links?
Interesting article. Thanks @Ashwin!