WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature that allows users to share a direct link to a call, making it easier to stay in contact with your loved ones. The Call Links feature will start to appear on WhatsApp this week and can be accessed through a banner located at the top of the Calls tab. WhatsApp users who want to try the Call Link feature will need the latest version of the app.
Mark Zuckerberg announced the feature on Facebook, saying that WhatsApp users will be able to share a link to a call with “a single tap.” The ability to share a call link with up to 32 users was teased back in April during the announcement of another upcoming feature, WhatsApp Communities.
The Call Links feature will support both audio and video calls, and Zuckerberg also confirmed that encrypted video calling is currently being tested for group calls with up to 32 people, which is notable, as WhatsApp currently caps video calls at eight users.
Expanded call capacity sets up WhatsApp as a competitor for the likes of Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom. These rival offerings have a far greater caller capacity (100 for Google and Microsoft Teams and 300 for Zoom). However, they include restrictions like call duration for free accounts and might not be the first choice for the billions of people already chatting on WhatsApp. WhatsApp didn’t mention any restrictions on call duration, which could place it as one of the best free video calling applications for smaller teams and personal networks once the feature is widely available.