WhatsApp looks set to bring group voice calls to its popular chat app, the latest beta hints.
The Facebook-owned messenger has introduced references to the feature in its latest beta, WaBetaInfo has revealed.
WaBetaInfo unearthed the hidden references within the 2.17.70 beta release.
The feature would allow WhatsApp users to add multiple people to a single VOIP phone call.
“There are a lot of hidden references about group voice calls, but there is only one reference about group video calls,” WaBetaInfo tweeted.
The Twitter account has accurately forecasted a number of unannounced WhatsApp features, based on references within the beta software.
WhatsApp added the ability to make phone calls within its chat app last year.
The service uses Voice Over IP (VOIP) to place calls to your WhatsApp contacts, enabling users to avoid international call rates.
It’s worth pointing out that you can’t access 999, 911, or other emergency service numbers through WhatsApp.
“You must make alternative communication arrangements to make emergency calls,” WhatsApp points out in its FAQ.
The new feature would purportedly allow users to add multiple contacts to the same call.
WhatsApp also plans to bring the same functionality to its video call feature, it has been reported.
The latest beta release comes days after WhatsApp rolled-out the ability to tracks friends’ movements in real-time within its iOS app.
Dubbed Live Location, the new feature lets users track contacts’ movements for a spell of either 15 minutes, one hour or eight hours at a time.
Previously, WhatsApp allowed users to share their location as a stationary spot on a map.
Now, when users opt-in to Live Location, friends can see their location on the map, which automatically updates as they move.
WhatsApp says its new feature is “a simple and secure way to let people know where you are”.
Locations are end-to-end encrypted – like the messages, photos, videos and files you send within WhatsApp – which should allay some users’ fears about the feature.