WhatsApp will soon allow users to invite participants to group calls through URLs. Furthermore, the organization is testing encrypted video conferencing with up to 32 participants. WhatsApp is expected to step up the competition with business tools like Teams, Zoom and Meet.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of parent company Meta, shared the news in a post on Facebook. “We’re rolling out call links on WhatsApp starting this week so you can share a link to start a call with a single tap”, he said. “We’re also testing secure encrypted video calling for up to 32 people. More coming soon.”
WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular communication tools. The app is mostly used for chat. WhatsApp has a number of limited video conferencing tools, but beyond that, the software doesn’t directly compete with business tools like Teams, Zoom and Meet. That may change in the short term.
Call Links and encrypted conferences
The upcoming ‘Call Links’ feature makes it possible to invite multiple participants to video conferences through URLs. It has long been possible to start a video call with the participants of a WhatsApp group, but the Call Links feature allows users to run a video call without creating a group.
Zuckerberg revealed that the feature will be deployed in the coming week. Scheduling calls remains impossible, which makes platforms like Teams, Zooms and Meet more suitable for business conferences for the time being. After its deployment, the feature can be found in the “Calls” tab. It’s currently unclear whether invitees will need a WhatsApp account to join a call. Website TechCrunch asked Meta for comment, but initially received no response.
Zuckerberg added that WhatsApp is currently testing encrypted video calls with up to 32 participants. The security policies of many companies dictate that communications are encrypted. By offering encryption in large video conferences, WhatsApp makes itself more attractive to businesses. The release date of the feature was not disclosed.