Update (October 20, 9:26 pm ET): WhatsApp appears to be rolling out the Call Links feature widely.
What you need to know
- WhatsApp has introduced a new calling feature for its mobile app.
- Call Links give users the ability to tap into a video or audio call straight from a link.
- WhatsApp is also working to expand encryption for group calls of up to 32 people.
One of the best features of video teleconferencing services like Google Meet and Zoom is the ability to send links to meetings. It looks like Meta has finally caught on and is now introducing Call Links to WhatsApp.
Similar to what you'd find on other services, WhatsApp Call Links allow users to quickly jump into a call just by tapping on a link. As illustrated by the image below, users can create a new Call Link straight from the Calls tab at the top of the list.
This will work for both audio and video calls, and users can throw the link into a chat.
"Planning a call with long-distance friends? Need to chat live last minute?" WhatsApp said in a Twitter post. "Now you can create and send a call link to anyone on WhatsApp, even if they're not in your contacts."
It's a useful feature that probably would have been more helpful at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but better late than never!
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that users are able to schedule calls using the new link feature, unlike other services like Apple's Facetime.
In addition to Call Links, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg also announced on Monday that WhatsApp is testing encrypted group video calls with up to 32 people. It's a feature WhatsApp announced back in May alongside its new community features, and it looks like the company is finally ready to bring this to users.
Zuckerberg said Call Links would roll out to WhatsApp users this week while suggesting more details would come at a later date for expanded group calling.
WhatsApp is now rolling out the ability to create and share links for voice and video calls to more users, as spotted by Android Police.
The feature can be accessed by navigating to the call tabs in WhatsApp. It is now visible on one of our devices, at the top of the tab's window.
When you tap the "Create call link" option, WhatsApp will display a preset link along with options to share it via the app, copy the link, or share it through third-party apps.
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