This week WhatsApp is getting a major update that adds a handy feature: bellinks. Those are links that allow users to join video calls. Apple has offered this option through FaceTime for a while now, making the old adage “better well-honed than ill-conceived” relevant again.
In social media land, it is not surprising that competitors are looking at each other so closely that all kinds of apps seem to be merging. Instagram and Snapchat often look at each other, for example. Also Instagram and TikTok. And Instagram and Facebook. And Instagram and WhatsApp. Instagram is very good at taking over features.
WhatsApp goes after FaceTime
Anyway, we’re not talking about Instagram right now, but sister app WhatsApp. That messaging service is still immensely popular, mainly because of its accessibility. But there is always room for improvement, and the company is now showing that. Mark Zuckerberg announced a brand new feature via his own Facebook profile.
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We’re rolling out call links on WhatsApp starting this week so you can share a link to start a call with a single tap. We’re also testing secure encrypted video calling for up to 32 people. More coming soon.
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Monday, September 26, 2022
And we’ve seen that feature before with FaceTime: bellinks. The update should arrive to everyone on iOS this week. When you receive a link, you tap on it and you can join a conversation. Life can be that simple. By the way, this is not the only thing parent company Meta is testing.
Indeed, Zuckerberg reveals via the same post that the company is testing enhanced security. “We are testing secure, encrypted video calling for groups of up to 32 people. You’ll hear more about that later,” Zuckerberg concluded his post. So soon WhatsApp’s video calling options will be expanded even further.
FaceTime is Apple’s communication app that lets you video call. Since the release of iOS 15, it is possible to share a link that allows you to invite someone to a conversation in a very accessible way. You then don’t have to be difficult and simply tap the shared link to join such an (ongoing) conversation.