WhatsApp announced How to start an audio chat / WhatsApp Help Center about the launch of a new feature — audio chat for groups. Unlike regular group calls, this mode retains the ability to write chat messages. Audio chats also have a different notification system: instead of a call, participants will receive a push notification with an offer to join.
The active audio chat will be displayed at the top of the screen, without interfering with the use of the application in parallel.
The audio chat stops after all participants leave it — or if no one has joined the first or last participant for 60 minutes. You can start an audio chat only on the main WhatsApp device.
Audio chats will gradually appear among WhatsApp users for iOS and Android in the coming weeks. So far, the function is only available for groups of 33 to 128 people, while up to 32 participants can call at the same time.