Instant messaging app WhatsApp is set to get a new feature, 'voice chats', similar to Discord's voice channel.
The upcoming feature will let group participants engage in audio chats but it is different from the existing voice call or voice notes.
Currently, the feature is available to a few users on the WhatsApp beta for Android 18.104.22.168.
Voice chats are similar to group calls, but instead of ringing everyone in the group, it will send a push notification.
While the beta version has capped the number of participants at 32, the number may change once the feature is officially rolled out.
How do 'voice calls' work?
Like Twitter Spaces and Discord voice channels, users can join or leave whenever they like. When a user starts a voice chat, the group icon in the chat list will change to a waveform icon and show a 'connect' button. Clicking on the button will let a user join the real-time discussion with a dedicated interface.
Voice chats will remain active for an hour once everyone leaves, but group members can initiate whenever they want.
In Voice chats, users are not required to add others manually. Voice chats will be encrypted end-to-end but won't appear as a full-screen call-style notification.
WABetaInfo stated that voice chats may not be available for groups with less than 32 participants, but WhatsApp might change the minimum participant limit later.
The messaging app has been testing new features such as the ability to log in via email, send video messages, and a faster way to transfer chats between phones without relying on Google Drive.
'Send for admin review' feature
Last week, WhatsApp beta for Android 22.214.171.124 released a new feature for improving group moderation. The app has included a new toggle in the group settings section, called 'Send for admin review', allowing group members to send messages to a group's admin for review.
Currently, users can report messages sent by other users to WhatsApp, but now the group admins can delete messages to improve moderation on the app.
Once this feature is enabled, users can report specific messages sent to the group to admins so that they can be removed.