WhatsApp group calls now easier to do

  • TECH
  • Friday, 21 Dec 2018

There's no way to secretly leave a WhatsApp group – the other members will always get a notification that you've turned your back on them. — dpa

WhatsApp group calls will be easier to initiate with its latest update, which allows users to dial in everyone in one go.

The popular messaging service first rolled out the Group Call feature in June, though users had to add callers one at a time, up to a maximum of four participants. 

The new design works alongside the group chat feature: first go to a group which has the people you want to call (or create a new group for this), then click on the phone icon with a plus sign at the top-right corner of the screen to go to the next menu.

From this screen, tap the contacts in the group who you want to call, then tap the voice or video button to initiate either a voice or video call. 

There is a second way of doing this via the Calls tab, where users tap the new Call icon on the top-right corner of the screen, pick the contacts to call, then choose either the voice or video icon.

Like its messaging, WhatsApp claims the calls are end-to-end encrypted, running on WhisperSystems.

The new feature is available with the latest update for iPhone users, while it is set to roll out for Android in an unspecified time frame.

Group calls of four people is a relatively intimate affair, considering WhatsAapp's sibling service, Facebook Messenger, can support up to 50 people in a single call.

The advantage of a smaller group is likely the strength of Internet connection required, as WhatsApp warns that the quality of the call depends on the contact with the weakest connection.
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