Line Corporation, better known for its instant messaging application Line, has rolled out group voice calling to its Android and iOS apps (with v5.11), and desktop app for Windows (with v4.5).
Although one-on-one video and voice calling have been there in the Line app for some time, the update now lets users voice call more than one person at a time within groups or multiple person chats. The company says the group calling feature supports up to 200 users at the same time.
Once a group call has been initiated, a notification is sent to all the members of the group participating in the chat. An icon is also shown above the user icon of the person who is currently speaking, letting user easily communicate.
"The group call feature can be utilised for no charge as long as the user has the Line app installed, allowing easy communication with a worldwide community of users. The service is perfect for catching up with friends and family, and also for use at work for important conference calls. The possibilities are endless with this tool designed to eliminate the traditional barriers to effective group communication," says the company blog post.
In addition, the app update introduces a redesigned More screen. The screen would now have a different layout for the menu icons so they easily are highlighted to users. The app now also lets users easily spot when their friends have updated their profiles. The Line app will at first be rolled out to all the countries except for Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia. It is available to download from Google Play and App Store.
Line of course is not the first instant messenger application to introduce the group voice calling feature. Last year, Hike brought group voice calling functionality that would allow up to 100 people to talk to each other in a group call. Moreover, Line itself launched a separate app called Popcorn Buzz in June last year that lets users talk with up to 200 people at the same time. However, the feature now is embedded in the main app.