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WhatsApp Rolls Out Voice Chat Feature for Less Disruptive Group Calls: How It Works

WhatsApp is making the process of calling your group less intrusive — members phones will not ring when a voice chat is started.

WhatsApp Rolls Out Voice Chat Feature for Less Disruptive Group Calls: How It Works

Photo Credit: Meta

Voice chats will be available to groups with more than 33 members on WhatsApp

  • WhatsApp is rolling out a more efficient way to make group calls
  • The feature is rolling out to groups with 33 - 128 members
  • WhatsApp says voice chats will only be available on primary devices

WhatsApp has begun rolling out a new voice chat feature that will offer an improved experience while making group calls on the messaging service. Currently, group calls ring members' devices, which might not be ideal — especially when some participants are in different time zones. Instead, voice chats will be less intrusive and allow group members who are in a conversation to perform other tasks on the messaging app simultaneously, just like the group call features available on apps like Slack and Discord.

The rollout of voice chats on Android was announced by WhatsApp via X (formerly known as Twitter) on Monday. The feature is available to some users who have updated to the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android and iOS from the Google Play store and the App Store, respectively. When voice chats are enabled for a group, members will see an option to start a voice chat in place of the group call button.

When a voice chat is started by pressing the new waveform icon at the top right corner of the screen in a group chat, members in the group will get a push notification informing them that they can join in. Everyone in the group — including people who are not part of the voice chat — will be able to see the profiles of participants. You can also perform other tasks on WhatsApp like text other group members who aren't part of the call.

The new feature also allows users to leave and rejoin the voice chat repeatedly, and a voice chat will end after all participants have left. The voice chat will also end if no participants join — or if there is only one person in the chat for an hour. 

WhatsApp's announcement states that the voice chats feature will first roll out to larger groups with more than 32 members. According to the messaging platform's frequently asked questions, the feature will be available to users in groups that have between 33 and 128 participants. It will only be accessible via a user's primary device — linked devices aren't supported.

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David Delima
As a writer on technology with Gadgets 360, David Delima is interested in open-source technology, cybersecurity, consumer privacy, and loves to read and write about how the Internet works. David can be contacted via email at DavidD@ndtv.com, on Twitter at @DxDavey, and Mastodon at mstdn.social/@delima. More
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