Meta-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp has introduced a new ‘Call Links’ feature, which makes it easier for users to get onto the audio and video calls. According to WhatsApp, Call Links feature would allow people, even those not in contact list, to get onto the calls quickly by clicking on the link (URL) — if they have WhatsApp on their device. The WhatsApp Call Links feature is rolling out in a staggered manner and the process may take a few days to reach everyone. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his Facebook post said, “WhatsApp’s developer team is currently testing secure encrypted video calling for up to 32 people.”
WhatsApp Call Links: How it works
Step 1: WhatsApp Call Link feature is available with the latest version of the instant messaging app. Therefore, updating the app is the first step
Step 2: Open the updated WhatsApp app and go to the Calls tab
Step 3: If the feature has been rolled out to you, you will see a ‘Create call link’ option on top of the call logs
Step 4: Tap on the ‘Create call link’ and WhatsApp will create the URL for you to share with anyone. The link could be used for both audio and video calls
Step 5: You can either copy the link and share it with your contacts or share the link right from the screen
To join the call, simply tap on the link and it gets you right into the audio or video call. However, it works only if you have WhatsApp installed in your device.
Apple FaceTime Links: What is it and how it works
Last year, Apple introduced a similar feature in its FaceTime service with the iOS 15 for iPhones. Called FaceTime Call Links, the feature allows Apple users to create a link for an event and share it with others, so anyone with access to the link can join the FaceTime call even from non-Apple devices such as Android smartphones and Windows PCs. The FaceTime call link can be created from iPhone, iPad and Mac, and shared with others through Messages, Calendar, Mail, or any third-party apps. Apple said the FaceTime calls on the web are end-to-end encrypted. Here is how it works:
How to create Apple FaceTime Link:
Step 1: Open the FaceTime app
Step 2: Tap on ‘Create Link’
Step 3: A screen will slide up from the bottom that says FaceTime Link
Step 4: On the same screen, you will see options to share the link through text, email, Twitter, calendar or other apps you have on your device
To join the FaceTime call through the link, simply tap on the link, enter your name, and select continue to proceed. In some cases, FaceTime will ask for permission to use the device microphone and camera. Grant the permission and select join to get onto the call. However, the entry is moderated by the call host.
How is WhatsApp Call Links different from Apple FaceTime Links
To be able to create WhatsApp Call Links the user must have the latest version of the app and the person who wants to join the call should at least have WhatsApp on their smartphone. Whereas, calls through the Apple FaceTime Links can be joined by anyone from their web browser – Android and Windows devices. They need not have a FaceTime app or iOS device to access the link. All you need to have is a strong internet connection and the latest version of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.