WhatsApp recently introduced several new features to improve group calls, including the ability to start a video or voice call on a mobile device with up to 32 people included.
32 Person Calls Now Possible on WhatsApp
The new 32-person limit is four times the previous amount and will enable businesses to include more colleagues in conference calls and collaboration meetings. Other new features include the ability to message or mute participants and create call links that can be sent to invite someone into a call.
How New WhatsApp Features Work
New participants can be invited into a call by creating a call link and sending it to the new participant, who only need to click the link to join the chat. The messaging feature works by long-pressing on a participant which will enlarge their video or audio feed. An option to send them a private message will then appear, allowing you to talk privately while the group call continues.
Long-pressing on a participant will also bring up the option to mute them, which they may request if merely listening in on the call for informational purposes while they carry on working.
In a statement revealing the new features on the About FB website, WhatsApp users were assured of their security when using the new features. The statement said: “As always, all calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted by default to protect people’s privacy and safety. We’ll keep making improvements to calling next year as we continue supporting high quality, private calling on WhatsApp wherever you are in the world.”
WhatsApp Functional Changes
There have also been some functional changes, which WhatsApp say helps create a more seamless calling experience. Firstly, colorful waveforms let you easily see who is speaking, even if their camera is turned off. There are also new in-call banner notifications that reveal when someone new joins the group call.
Picture-in-picture will also soon be available for iOS. It is currently in beta testing but should start rolling out in 2023.