WhatsApp users are getting this cool free chat with friends upgrade

Start a call with a single tap and talk to more people at once

WhatsApp app logo shown on smartphone screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you're one of those strange people who uses social apps to actually talk to people in real-time, you're going to love the latest free WhatsApp upgrade. Starting this week, the app is rolling out Call Links to make it easier and faster to start an in-app call with your friends, family or colleagues.

The feature is designed to be fast and simple. To create a call link, all you need to do is tap on the Call Links option inside the Calls tab, and that'll automatically create a link for a new audio or video call. Share the link with your intended recipient(s) and they can join the call with a single tap, provided they too have the most up-to-date version of the WhatsApp app.

WhatsApp call links

(Image credit: WhatsApp)

Talk to more people more securely

The new feature was announced on the official Facebook blog (opens in new tab) by Mark Zuckerberg, who added that "We're also testing secure encrypted video calling for up to 32 people."

If you're not familiar with encryption, it's a way of encoding data so that even if it gets intercepted it can't be accessed. That means it provides protection against bad actors and ensures that your content isn't being watched by anybody you don't invite, or by someone pretending to be your intended recipient. It also makes it more difficult for other people to steal your stuff and pass it off as their own, or – in the case of streaming services – for people to stream shows or movies they haven't paid to access.

WhatsApp already encrypts text and voice chats, so encrypting video is a natural step on from that. However, Zuckerberg hasn't given a time frame to indicate when that feature's actually coming to the app, saying instead: "More coming soon."

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).