WhatsApp’s voice-calling feature has been highly anticipated since rumors of it popped up a few months ago and especially after the feature was given to a handful of users a few weeks ago. A bunch of users were given access to this new feature earlier today who were then able to “invite” their friends by calling them through the feature itself. While the invite windows is now closed, this does suggest that a complete launch is very close.
A few weeks ago, WhatsApp’s Call feature made a small appearance for a few users, but at the time almost no one was able to trigger it reliably and keep it activated. The company appears to have flipped a few switches in its servers and the function is confirmed to work for those running version 2.11.528 from the Play Store, or 2.11.531 from WhatsApp’s website (also uploaded to APKMirror). A few users have emailed us reporting getting the function activated over the past hours, and I just got mine up and running after receiving a call from Clinton (who got it from another friend, and so on). So as you are suspecting, the “invite” or, more accurately, the trigger that enables the feature has to be the reception of a call from someone who already has it. (Or maybe this terminal trick still works, I’m not sure.) Once that happens, WhatsApp’s UI switches (either immediately or after you exit and reopen the app) from just showing chats, to a 3-tab layout with calls, chats, and contacts.