WhatsApp video, audio group calls being tested; may rollout next year

Little late to the party, but WhatsApp is now finally working on group audio and video calls.

  • Published: October 23, 2017 9:06 AM IST

Image: Getty

WhatsApp audio and video calls can easily be considered one of the app’s most popular features. After all, a big bunch of users have started using it as an alternative for a cellular call. But there is one thing the feature does not offer that the regular calls do, and that is conferencing. Presently, WhatsApp only allows one-to-one audio or video calls. However, according to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is testing the group calling feature on the app.

The latest 2.17.70 beta release contains a number of references to audio conference calling. Which means, a user may soon be able to add other WhatsApp users while being on an audio call with someone. A line of code was discovered, which suggested that, if a user makes a voice call to someone on WhatsApp, the app will send a request to the server whether the person is busy or not. The latest beta update is full of similar references. Fewer, yet similar, references for the same have been found for video calling. However, we must mention that WABetaInfo also pointed out that the feature “will be available for the next year”.

Though exciting, the reports of WhatsApp’s integration of group calling is kind of a stale news. Last year in April, Facebook Messenger added support for group voice calling, which allows calls to up to 50 people at a time. Then in December last year, the platform also introduced group video calling feature, which also allows conferencing in up to 50 people simultaneously, of which only six can be seen. In fact, just last week, Microsoft also announced a group video calling feature for Skype Lite. RELATED: Facebook Messenger for desktop updated with group voice and video calling feature

Further, talking about features to come. Another report from WABetaInfo suggests that administrators on WhatsApp groups will soon be able to choose if other participants can modify the subject of the group, its icon, and its description. This was spotted on Google Play Beta Program in the version 2.17.387. WhatsApp has also announced advanced features for improved group management, including a tool that will prevent the group creator to be deleted from the group by other administrators. ALSO READ: Live Location to Snapchat-like Stories: WhatsApp features rolled out this year

  • Published Date: October 23, 2017 9:06 AM IST