WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging app recently added a new feature that lets users engage in Discord-like voice chats.
While it may sound similar to voice calls and voice notes, the new feature closely resembles ‘group calls’. However, initiating a voice chat won’t ring everyone in a group, but instead sends a silent push notification.
Similar to how the functionality works on Discord, users will be able to join and leave whenever they want to. The call controls appear on the top of the group chat, allowing users to message while the voice chat is ongoing.
Group participants can see who joined the voice chat in a banner that appears at the bottom of the screen while those not participating in the voice chat can see the profiles of those who joined from the chat header and the Calls tab.
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To initiate a voice chat, open the group chat you want to start a voice chat with, tap on the waveform icon that appears on the top right of the screen and click the ‘Start Voice Chat’ button. If you want to end the voice chat, tap on the ‘X’ icon in the top right corner of the group chat.
According to WhatsApp’s support page, ‘Voice chats’ are only available for groups of 33 to 128 people and the feature is currently limited to the primary device. Also, voice chats will automatically end if the last person leaves or no one joins the first or last person for an hour. Similar to personal WhatsApp calls and messages, all voice chats are end-to-end encrypted.
First spotted in August, ‘Voice Chats’ was available to a handful of users on the beta version of the app but WhatsApp seems to be rolling out the feature to everyone. However, it might take a few days before the new functionality is available on your device.