WhatsApp adds one-click links for calls with 32-person VCs

Call Links on WhatsApp promo image, displaying simulated screenshots of the feature on two phones to share a call with a link.

Now you can grab friends for a voice (or video) group chat just by sending them a link, and soon, you’ll be able to see up to 32 of them simultaneously.

WhatsApp users will soon be able to invite up to 32 people to a group call. In addition, WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature that allows users to share a direct link to a call, making it easier to stay in contact with your loved ones. The Call Links feature will start appearing on WhatsApp this week and can be accessed through a banner at the top of the Calls tab. WhatsApp users who want to try the Call Link feature will need the latest version of the app.

Mark Zuckerberg announced the feature on Facebook, saying that WhatsApp users can share a link to a call with “a single tap.” The ability to share a call link with up to 32 users was teased in April during the announcement of another upcoming feature, WhatsApp Communities.

The Call Links feature will support both audio and video calls. Zuckerberg also confirmed that encrypted video calling is currently being tested for group calls with up to 32 people, notable as WhatsApp now caps video calls at eight users.

Expanded call capacity sets up WhatsApp as a competitor for Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom. These rival offerings have a far greater caller capacity. However, they include restrictions like call duration for free accounts and might not be the first choice for the billions of people already chatting on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp didn’t mention any restrictions on call duration, which could place it as one of the best free video calling applications for smaller teams and personal networks once the feature is widely available. WhatsApp has made several other small but meaningful updates this year.

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In addition to rolling out emoji reactions and introducing a way to speed up voice messages, the platform also started letting Android users transfer their chat history to iPhone. WhatsApp updates often come stout and fast. It’s the world’s most widespread chat app, with an estimated 2 billion users flinging messages worldwide every month. If you’re one of the WhatsApp trustworthy, then it’s worth maintaining tabs on the latest updates and modifications made to the app and potential additions and tweaks on the horizon.

Having been released from a preview stage, WhatsApp will allow users to preview their voice messages in the instant messaging app before sending them. At the risk of noting the obvious, the new feature will help ensure that you don’t accidentally send something with a vocal mistake or an overly-wrought and rambling voice note. Equally, for those who can fire off alert messages when handling feisty or hot-headed, this feature allows you to reflect on what you’ve said before you send it; think of it as a personal social safety measure.

The WhatsApp public beta across many formats now sustains multi-device combability, which, as the name suggests, lets you use WhatsApp across several devices rather than requiring you to transfer it over each time. Up to four companion devices can be linked at one time.

And interestingly, if you don’t connect to devices across 14 days, they’ll be disconnected, thus helping with security. In addition, end-to-end encryption will be applied across all these companion devices. One annoying element of WhatsApp is that chat backups can fast balloon in size if not scrutinized, especially if you’re in a chat where people send many images and videos. These backups can become gigabytes in size, causing swapping phones and restoring conversations difficult.