WhatsApp is rolling out call links. Announced last month, the new feature makes it easier to join or start group calls in the app. You can use it to create shareable links to calls and let others join the call by clicking the link. You may have seen something similar with video conferencing tools like Google Meet and Zoom.
You can create a call link from the Calls tab in WhatsApp. Here you will find a new option “Create call link” above your call log. Tapping this button will instantly create a new link that you can share with others. You can choose the call type (voice or video) before sharing. WhatsApp offers options to share the link through the app itself or another medium. You can also copy and paste the link.
Anyone with the link can join the call, regardless of whether you have saved their WhatsApp number as a contact. All they need is a WhatsApp account. When you tap the link, the app will show who created the link (shows the contact’s phone number or name if saved). You get two buttons to leave or join the call. Once you join, it’s the same calling interface you’re already familiar with from WhatsApp. And as you’d expect, you can add more people to the call using the existing Add Participants button.
WhatsApp calls initiated via call links are noted by a link icon in the call log. This allows you to distinguish these calls from others. You can find the link by tapping on an entry in the call log. You can also quickly start the same group call from there.
WhatsApp needs to refine the call links feature
The idea of WhatsApp with Call Links is to make it easy to start large group calls. Instead of manually adding people to an ongoing call, you can simply share a link. You can also use this feature to make group calls with unsaved contacts. Interestingly, however, calls initiated through this method always show up as group calls, even if you share the link with just one person. This suggests that the feature is primarily designed for group calls.
WhatsApp doesn’t seem to have fully cooked it, however. It is unclear whether the shared links have an expiration date. And if there aren’t any, that means people can always join the call. Worse, you won’t be notified when someone you invite joins. So you have to be active on the call to check who else has joined. If you still find this feature useful, you can check if you have it by navigating to the “Calls” tab in WhatsApp. If you don’t already have it, update your WhatsApp app by clicking the link below.