These are the new features coming this week:
WhatsApp wants to put a new twist on video calling. Until now, the messaging app has offered video calling, but it’s lagging well behind rivals like Zoom and Google Meet. With some of the new features coming this week, that gap will be narrowed.
These are the changes announced by Will Cathcart, director of WhatsApp, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta. Two additions that will make it easier to start a video call and expand its capabilities.
Links for video calls with up to 32 participants.
The first addition is the “call links” feature. That is, the ability to create a link to start a specific video call, whether it is initiated or scheduled. Like group links, starting this week we will be able to create a link to add other users to the video call and copy and send that message. A simple and effective way to schedule video calls that already works in other apps.
Planning a call with friends remotely? Need to chat live at the last minute?
Now you can create a call link and send it to anyone on WhatsApp, even if they are not in your contacts
Add the link to an invitation or send it in a chat – now it is easier than ever to schedule and make calls.
The Call Links feature will be available starting this week and will be rolled out gradually, though there are no details on exactly when it will reach all users. The feature is expected to be available for both iOS and Android users.
In addition to creating links, WhatsApp is already working on extending video calls to up to 32 people in an encrypted form. This new feature was announced by Zuckerberg along with the addition of links, with more details to be announced at a later date.
Previously, the maximum limit for WhatsApp video calls was eight participants. An amount that suits small groups, but remains too small for team meetings or video calls with a larger number of members. The in-house alternative for these people was Messenger Rooms via WhatsApp Web, with up to 50 participants. However, this is a different option than WhatsApp’s built-in video calls.
To check if the new link feature is already available, we recommend going to the Calls tab and see if the option to create a link is displayed.