Meta recently added a new and handy feature to its popular messaging platform WhatsApp, the WhatsApp Group Video and Voice Call.
In the advent of Covid-19 and lockdowns, the disruptive pandemic has spurred some cool innovations as people sought to social distance and work or connect more from home than the physical places.
Meta has not been left behind in that regards. This new group voice call feature allows users to add up to 32 participants in a group call.
According to data gleaned by Campuslifestyle.org, one needs to have the latest version of WhatsApp installed on their device.
On Android, users will require to update to WhatsApp v2. 22.9. 73, and iOS users will need to get v22. 8.80 to access the new features.
A key point to note is that the voice calling feature uses your phone’s internet connection rather than your mobile network provider plan’s minutes. Data charges may therefore apply.
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How the feature works
When you receive a group voice call, the screen will show the participants on the call, and the first contact listed will be the participant that added you.
Group voice call history will appear in the Calls tab. You can tap the call history to view the participants from the call.
You can also join missed calls if they’re still ongoing.
How to make a WhatsApp group voice call
According to Meta, there are three ways you can make the WhatsApp Group Voice Call. We look at each of these methods and how you can use them to enjoy the new service.
First Method: You can make a group voice call from a group chat. First, open the group chat you want to voice call.
If your group chat has 33 or more participants, tap Group Call. Find the contacts you want to add to the call, then tap Voice Call.
If your group chat has 32 or fewer participants, tap Voice Call. Only group members can participate.
Second Method: You can also make a group voice call from the Calls tab. To do that, open WhatsApp, then tap the Calls tab.
Next, tap New Call > New Group Call. Find the contacts you want to add to the call, then tap Voice Call.
Third Method: Finally, you can make a group voice call from an individual chat.
To do that, open the individual chat with one of the contacts you want to voice call.
Tap Voice Call. Once the contact accepts the call, tap Open > Add Participant.
Find another contact you want to add to the call, then tap Add. Tap Add Participant if you want to add more contacts.
How to join a WhatsApp group voice call
Let’s now look at the situation where you’re to join a WhatsApp group voice call initiated by one of your contacts.
First, you’ll receive a notification when someone invites you to join a group voice call.
Tap the notification to open the call details screen. From this screen, you can preview the call participants and other invitees.
Tap Join to join the call. While on the call, tap Open open the call info screen.
Tap Add Participant to add more contacts to the call.
Tap Ring to send a notification to people who’ve already been invited.
How to join a missed group voice call
In case you missed a WhatsApp group voice call in which you were invited, here is how you can get into the conversation.
Open WhatsApp, then tap the Calls tab. If the call was started from a group chat, you can join by opening that chat and tapping Join.
If the call is ongoing, tap the call you’d like to join. This will open the call info screen. Tap Join.
How to mute someone else
Privacy issues are always a subject of intense debate, and Meta did not leave anything yo change.
You can mute other participants in a group call. To do so, tap and hold on the participant’s name. Then press Mute.
The participant can unmute themself at any time by tapping the microphone icon. You can message a participant directly on a group call by tapping and holding their tile.
Other things to note
During a WhatsApp group voice call, you won’t be able to switch the call to a video call.
You can’t remove a contact during a group voice call. The contact would need to hang up their phone to disconnect from the call.
While it’s possible to be in a group voice call with someone you’ve blocked, you can’t add a contact that you’ve blocked to the call or a contact that has blocked you.
Voice calling is available on iPhones running iOS 12 or newer.
You can’t access emergency service numbers through WhatsApp such as 911 in the United States. To make emergency calls, you must make alternative communication arrangements.
Since group calling is not supported on desktop or web, the person you are calling will only receive the call on their primary device.
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