WhatsApp, the widely-used instant messaging application, has recently introduced a novel feature that enables users to partake in voice chats reminiscent of those found on Discord.
Distinguishing itself from conventional voice calls and voice notes, this new feature closely aligns with the concept of ‘group calls.’ Unlike traditional group calls, initiating a voice chat does not trigger a ringing notification for all members; instead, it discreetly sends a silent push notification.
Functioning akin to Discord, users have the flexibility to join or leave the voice chat at their convenience. The controls for the call are conveniently located at the top of the group chat interface, allowing users to exchange messages concurrently with the ongoing voice chat. A banner at the bottom of the screen notifies group participants of who has joined the voice chat, while those not actively participating can view the profiles of participants through the chat header and the Calls tab.
To commence a voice chat, users simply need to open the group chat they wish to engage in, tap the waveform icon situated at the top right of the screen, and click the ‘Start Voice Chat’ button. Ending the voice chat is just as straightforward; users can tap the ‘X’ icon located in the top right corner of the group chat.
WhatsApp’s support page specifies that ‘Voice Chats’ are exclusively available for groups ranging from 33 to 128 people, and currently, the feature is limited to the primary device. Furthermore, voice chats automatically conclude if the last person exits or if no one joins the first or last person within an hour. Aligning with the platform’s commitment to privacy, similar to personal WhatsApp calls and messages, all voice chats are end-to-end encrypted.
Initially identified in August, ‘Voice Chats’ were accessible to a select group of users within the beta version of the app. However, WhatsApp is progressively rolling out this feature to a broader audience, though it may take a few days before the functionality becomes available on all devices.