The latest change to WhatsApp affects the experience of calling and video calling: it is now possible to enter them anytime and not just after receiving the invitation. These will remain accessible for the duration of the communication and will offer direct access to WhatsApp chats.
“When something works, don’t touch it” is usually the best when developing applications, also when it comes to maintaining and updating them. And few developments follow this mantra as strictly as WhatsApp: its developers are moving forward while preserving most of what is basic for the application. This is the case with calls, which had not changed too much since their extension to eight participants. Until now.
While the WhatsApp call is going on, you can enter
The invitation to the call will remain accessible for the duration of the call
It seems like a minor novelty, but the truth is that it is extremely useful for group calls and video calls. In fact, it is surprising that WhatsApp has not implemented the invitation enhancement so far, especially after the heavy use of this medium during the pandemic.
As specified by WhatsApp itself on its page, group calls and video calls now allow access to guest contacts while communication is in progress. This implies that, even if the invitation is ignored at the start of the call, the access will be valid to enter at any time. As long as the participants don’t withdraw the invitation, of course.
To have this new feature, all you need to do is update the application and start the call or video call in the usual way:
Choose who you are going to call or set up video call in a WhatsApp group. Add as many people as you want, up to a maximum of seven (calls are limited to eight people relying on you). Each contact will receive an invitation; that you can accept or ignore. Before entering the communication, the invitees will see the list of participants and the contacts to which they have been invited and have not yet appeared. Access to the call (or video call) will remain effective in the calls tab. This way, those who receive the invitation will have access when they want, even if they decided to ignore it at first.
This simple improvement represents a noticeable increase in the group communication experience. This avoids having to know when they invite us to calls and they keep the option to come in even if we couldn’t at first (or didn’t want to, which you can always change your mind).
The novelty is already available in WhatsApp mobile applications, both on Android and iPhone. The platform activates it from its servers: as long as you have the app sufficiently up to date, you should have the new group call invitations available to you.