How to Make a Group Call on an Amazon Echo/Echo Show

Up to seven people at a time can chat with voice and video for free

What to Know

  • Set up group calls in the Alexa app: Tap speech bubble > person > Add New > Add Group > Enable; select contacts, tap Create Group.
  • To initiate a group call, use the voice command, Alexa, call (group name). A group call can have up to seven participants.
  • Tap + on the group screen at any time to add new members, or tap Edit > Remove to remove a member.

This article explains how to make a group call using Alexa and your Amazon Echo device, including Amazon Echo Show.

If you have a group or are part of a group, say your Echo's wake word—"Alexa," "Amazon," "Computer," "Echo," or "Ziggy"—then use the voice command call (group name) to start a call. If you don’t have a group set up, you need to do so in the Alexa app first, as described in the following instructions.

How to Make a Group Call on an Amazon Echo Device

While you can participate in group calls on your Echo or Echo Show by asking Alexa to initiate one, you have to set everything up first through the Alexa app. Group calling also has to be enabled via the Alexa app before you can start or join group calls (you'll get a prompt to do so the first time you create a group).

Here’s how to get started with group calling on your Amazon device:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.

  2. Tap the communicate icon (speech bubble) at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Tap the person icon in the upper right corner.

  4. Tap Add New.

    Adding contacts for a group call on the Echo and Echo Show with "Communicate," "People icon," and "Add New" highlighted
  5. Tap Add Group.

  6. Tap Enable.

  7. Tap the check boxes next to the contacts you want to add to your group, and then tap CONTINUE.

    Adding a contact to a group for a group call on the Echo and Echo Show with "Add Group," "Enable," and "Continue" highlighted
  8. Enter a name, and tap CREATE GROUP.

  9. Your group is now ready for calls.

    Naming a group for Alexa calls, with Create Group highlighted

    Tap + on this screen at any time to add new members, or tap edit > remove to remove a member.

  10. To initiate a group call, use the voice command Alexa, call (group name).

How Does Group Calling Work on Alexa and Echo?

Group calling is a free feature available to everyone who owns a compatible Echo device. It leverages the same technology used for placing calls with an Echo and Alexa’s drop-in feature. The main difference is you have to set up a group in the Alexa app before making a call. Each group is limited to seven people, but you can have as many groups set up as you want. For example, you could create a group for your immediate family, your closest friends, your co-workers, and so on.

Once you’ve set up a group in your Alexa app, initiating a group call is a simple matter of asking Alexa to start a call on a compatible Echo device. This simple process requires you to say the wake word, call, and the group's name. For example, you might say, “Alexa, call family.”

Amazon’s Echo group calling works on various Echo devices, including Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show. If you place a group call using an Echo Show, and the camera is enabled, other Echo Show users will see you on their device, and you’ll see them on yours. Echo and Echo Dot users are naturally limited to participating with audio alone, but a group can include both devices.

Why Use Amazon’s Echo Group Call Feature?

From Discord to Zoom, there are many voice and video calling options out there you can use to keep in touch with groups of family, friends, and co-workers. Each option has its strengths and weaknesses. Some services are expensive or come with only a limited number of free minutes, and most require you to install and set up an app on your computer or phone.

Echo group calling's main weakness is it requires Echo hardware to use, although the group call feature will eventually make its way directly to the Alexa app. The reliance on hardware is also a strength, though, as it makes the entire process much more accessible than other group calling options. It's a huge benefit to anyone who isn’t already familiar with the various VOIP calling services, as there’s nothing new to learn or install. Amazon Echo group calling works right out of the box, including the video chat feature if you’re using an Echo Show.

  • What can an Echo Show do?

    The Echo Show has many of the same features other smart speakers have, but unlike some of its competitors, it also includes a touchscreen display. Echo Show can make video calls, play music, control your smart home devices, search the internet for answers to questions, and more.

  • How do you set up an Echo Show?

    Download and set up the Alexa app for Android or iOS. Then, plug in the Echo Show and wait until you hear, "Hello, your Echo Device is ready for setup." The device should walk you through the setup process.

  • How do you add contacts to an Echo Show?

    To add a single contact, open the Alexa app and go to Communicate > Contacts > More (three dots) > Add Contact. To import contacts, select Communicate > person icon > tap upper-right menu > Import Contacts > turn on the Import Contacts toggle.

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