WhatsApp group calls now allow users to join at any time during the call.
Previously, all the users would have to stand at attention, ready to join the call the moment it started.
Those who missed the call could be dialled in by other participants, but they would have to be redialled to join the call if they missed the dial-in.
Now, anyone with an invitation can join the call by going to their call log and clicking on the join button.
“Joinable calls reduce the burden of answering a group call as it starts, and brings the spontaneity and ease of in-person conversations to group calling on WhatsApp”, the company stated in a blog post.
Group calls were first introduced to WhatsApp in July 2018, with a limit of 4 participants. During the first round of lockdowns last year, the company increased the call capacity to 8 participants.
Video calls now also have an info section, “so you can see who is already on the call, and who has been invited but not yet joined”.
You can also hit “ignore” when you first receive the call, then join later from the calls tab in WhatsApp.
The addition of invitation-based joining, the info section, and the earlier increase in call participants add functionality in line with fully-fledged video call platforms like Zoom and Teams.
To join an ongoing call, Whatsapp outlines the steps as follows:
- Open WhatsApp, then tap the Calls tab.
- Tap the call you’d like to join. This will open the call info screen.
- From the call menu, tap Join.