The most recent beta release of WhatsApp, the messenger app owned by Meta, introduces a novel voice chat capability that facilitates spoken interactions among groups of up to 32 individuals.
As outlined in recent reports by WABetaInfo, the WhatsApp beta version 188.8.131.52 is currently being made available to Android testers. This update brings features reminiscent of other platforms like Telegram and Discord chats, Slack’s Huddles, and even Meta’s own Messenger platform.
Recognizable as a waveform icon, this new feature is integrated into group chats. However, its presence is contingent on the activation of the feature on the respective WhatsApp account, coupled with the compatibility of the group.
Upon pressing this icon, the voice chat instantly initiates, revealing its distinctive interface. From this point onward, any member within the group, up to a maximum of 32 participants, can effortlessly join and initiate discussions.
In contrast to the present group call functionality, group voice chats refrain from causing simultaneous ringing on all participants’ devices. Once everyone departs from the session, it remains active but will autonomously conclude after an hour.
Notably, voice chats within WhatsApp, much like its other messages, are encrypted end-to-end by default. WABetaInfo’s insights suggest that the introduction of this new WhatsApp voice chat feature might extend beyond its initial beta rollout.
While Meta is not a trailblazer in introducing this functionality (Telegram had integrated voice chat features since 2020), WhatsApp possesses a distinct advantage due to its extensive global usage. With a user base surpassing 2 billion, WhatsApp remains one of the most widely utilized messaging applications worldwide.