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Facebook-owned online messaging app WhatsApp has promised that it will roll out the group calling feature in the coming months. The company started testing the feature soon after the announcement at F8 in May. Now finally WhatsApp has announced that it has started rolling out the group voice and video calls for everyone starting July 31.
"Over the last couple years, people have enjoyed making voice and video calls on WhatsApp. In fact, our users spend over 2 billion minutes on calls per day. We're excited to announce that group calls for voice and video are coming to WhatsApp starting today," reads the WhatsApp blog post.
According to WhatsApp, you can make a group call with up to four people at a time. Group calls are always end-to-end encrypted, and WhatsApp has designed the feature to work reliably around the world in different network conditions. The feature is currently rolling out on the iPhone and Android versions.
How to make a group voice and video call on WhatsApp
Firstly you have to start a one-on-one voice or video call. Once you are connected voice or video call, then you see a new "add participant" button in the top right corner. You need to tap on Add participants search for or select another contact you want to add to the call.
When a user receives a group voice or a video call, the incoming WhatsApp voice or video call screen will show the participants currently on the call. The first contact listed will be the participant that added you.
Notably, you can't switch the call to a video call during a group voice call, for that you have to end the call do it once again. During a group video call, users have the option to turn off their camera by tapping the camera icon.
Moreover, the participants in the group video or video call can't remove a contact during the call. The contact needs to hang up their phone to quite the group call.
You can see the group voice or video call history in the calls tab. You can tap the call history to see the individual contacts from the call. It's possible to be in a group call with someone you have blocked, but you can't add a contact that you have blocked or a contact who has blocked you.
The update is started rolling out for Android and iOS from today, so don't worry if you didn't receive the new feature. It will be available for everyone over the next few days.