WhatsApp is rolling out a new option that will better facilitate audio calls within group chats, by enabling users to start an audio room that other members can join.
As you can see in this overview, the new process is essentially Meta’s audio rooms option within WhatsApp chat groups, enabling any group chat member to start an audio discussion that other group members can tap on to participate.
Up till now, whenever a group chat member initiated an audio call, it would call up every member of the group, which can be disruptive, particularly in larger chats. But now, the new audio update option will give the creator the option to silently activate a group audio chat, with all members that are active able to see and join the discussion, if they choose.
It’s a handy update, which will help facilitate more types of interaction within the app, and expand on WhatsApp’s utility. Meta’s working to capitalize on the rising popularity of WhatsApp, particularly in the U.S., with CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently referring to it as the “private social platform of the future”.
Indeed, with more people turning to private group chats to share their latest updates, as opposed to public posting in social apps, and amid a rising focus on privacy more broadly, WhatsApp has become a much bigger consideration. More than half of American mobile users (aged 18 to 35) now have installed the app on their device, while it also remains a critical connector in emerging markets, especially India, where Meta is still working to maximize its opportunities.
With this in mind, you can expect to see a lot more updates coming for WhatsApp, while Meta’s also looking for new ways to build in connection options for brands to broaden that shift.
In this context, the new group calling option makes a lot of sense, and could be a valuable addition for those already using WhatsApp to connect with an audience.
WhatsApp’s rolling out voice chats globally to large groups “over the coming weeks”, starting with those that have 33 or more participants.