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WhatsApp update fundamentally changes group calls

Especially in large WhatsApp groups, it can quickly become confusing. Who is replying to what? Who is even in the chat? And then there’s the constant pinging for new messages. The Messenger now provides a remedy for this.

Until now, WhatsApp was not very suitable for large group calls; the functions were too limited. But with the new features that have now been announced, that is set to change. As WABetaInfo reports, they are available for both Android and iOS. The rollout of the corresponding update has begun.

New features for group calls via WhatsApp

Mute members in the call, direct messages to other participants and notifications about joins. These three new features are intended to steer group calls with WhatsApp into more comfortable and orderly paths. After all, with up to 32 possible participants (only the first eight can actively join the call) that the messenger allows in video calls, it can otherwise quickly become hectic to chaotic.

The targeted muting of others can be useful, for example, if annoying background noise is heard from one or more participants during the group call via WhatsApp. And the new messaging feature allows you to quickly and directly message others in the group without missing any of the conversation. These features have been offered by other messengers for video calls in groups for some time. However, they have been missing from WhatsApp so far, which is why the service has never been suitable as a professional alternative to Microsoft Teams or Skype – also due to the limitation of participants.

And what is it about the banner notifications? If a new participant joins the group call, but cannot be seen on their own screen due to the group size and limited display space, WhatsApp now shows a banner notification saying “XY has joined the call”. This way, you can be sure to always know if someone has joined – and who they are.

Whatsapp voice calls
A look at the new features for group calls Photo: Whatsapp/dpa-tmn

WhatsApp is currently distributing the update with the new features for group calls to all Android smartphones as well as iPhones. As always, however, it may take a few days for it to reach all users, as the rollout is done in waves.


  • WABetaInfo

With material from dpa