Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, is reportedly developing a new feature called Audio Chat for group conversations.
The feature was discovered in a recent WhatsApp beta update, although it seems to be in the early stages and there is no information about its functionality yet.
The current implementation of the feature has a waveform icon that, when clicked, opens a screen with a “hang up” button at the top. The addition of Audio Chat suggests that Meta is focusing on improving group chat capabilities in WhatsApp, which is widely used across Europe and in other markets.
Meta recently added support for group video calls for up to eight people and audio calls for up to 32 participants in a Windows update for WhatsApp.
It is not known when the Audio Chat feature will be rolled out on Android devices, but beta updates typically do not have a fixed release date or roadmap.
It remains to be seen how Audio Chat will differ from WhatsApp’s existing audio recording feature, and whether it will be similar to other group chat voice features, such as Slack Huddles, Twitter Spaces, and Discord voice chats.
At present, the UI and functionality of Audio Chat is not yet clear, and it may undergo changes before it becomes publicly available.