BrandArena: WhatsApp Rolls Out New Voice Chat Feature to Enhance Group Call Experience

Tuesday 14 November 2023

WhatsApp Rolls Out New Voice Chat Feature to Enhance Group Call Experience

WhatsApp's group communication capabilities will be enhanced with the addition of a new audio chat capability. This feature, which aims to provide a more comfortable manner for conducting phone calls in big groups, is moving from beta to official release in the coming weeks.

WhatsApp's current capability enables voice calls with up to 32 participants. However, the upcoming audio chat option delivers a more seamless experience and will begin with groups of 33 or more people. Users will not be called directly, as opposed to regular group calls. Instead, they will receive a push notification and will be able to join the conversation by tapping a bubble within the chat.

How to start a voice chat

To start a voice chat:
  • Open the group chat you want to start a voice chat with.
  • Tap  in the top right corner of the screen.
  • Tap Start Voice Chat.
Once you start the voice chat, group members will receive a push notification to join instead of a call. You can see who has joined the voice chat in a banner at the bottom of the screen. Voice chats will end automatically once everyone has left the chat. They’ll also end if no one joins the first or last person in the chat for 60 minutes.

The voice chat allows participants to access call controls at the top of the chat, ensuring that the chat functionality remains unobstructed, enabling participants to send text messages while engaged in a voice chat. These chats will maintain WhatsApp’s standard of privacy with end-to-end encryption and can accommodate up to 32 people.

The new feature is slated for release on both iOS and Android platforms and will initially target larger group chats, specifically those with 33 to 128 members. WhatsApp’s decision to start with larger groups suggests that smaller groups can continue to utilize the existing voice call option, which already serves groups of up to 32 participants effectively.

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