After months of testing WhatsApp developers are finally satisfied with the video calling feature they have been working on some time now.
The global rollout has started for the main client and is happening in stages for users on the most active platforms, that is, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
The feature had been under testing for some time on Android and Windows Phone beta versions fueling a lot of rumors of whether it would be made public in regard to the fact that it was occasionally removed and returned. However, that has been confirmed after the company officially announced the application’s entry into video calling world. In the statement, WhatsApp said that video call was one of the most asked-for function.
How to use WhatsApp Video Call
Using the feature is simple as with other WhatsApp features. To start a video call with a contact, just hit the call button appearing on the top bar after which you will be prompted to choose between ‘Video Call’ and ‘Voice Call’. To make the video call, select ‘Video Call’ option and there you are! Simple. You can also initiate the call from the conversation page, just tap on the call button on the right top menu and follow the prompts.
As you make the call, WhatsApp provides several options to play around with. For instance, you can toggle between primary and secondary camera, mute and unmute the call and use the customary red button to end. About the user interface on different platforms, it seems there are some variations. There is slight difference in the make-ups of the function on Android and iPhone. The position of the picture-in-picture, button size and position and alignment varies in the two devices.
WhatsApp late entry a threat to other video calling platforms
WhatsApp was already commanding the largest part in mobile messaging space thanks to a number of standard features like group conversation and voice calling. Users had been wondering why the instant messaging titan was so reluctant to release the feature when almost all direct competitors, both old and new, had already staked in the sought-after functionality. The likes of Facebook-owned Messenger, FaceTime, Skype, LINE, Viber and even the newly created Google Duo all have the function up and running.
However, WhatsApp developers had an idea beyond just creating a normal video calling platform. According to a statement released by the company, the team took time to build the feature so that it can be accessible to everyone and not just people living in nations with good data connections or folks with the best of smartphones. Some video calling platforms limit users on the aforementioned basis, for example, FaceTime is only supported by Apple devices while newbie Google’s Duo only works on later versions of iOS and Android. On the other hand WhatsApp is a cross-platform, hence its video calling feature will be more lucrative.
The feature is coming at a time when the chat client has over a billion monthly active users to its name and its arrival could just add more numbers.
The service has also been adding other features of late and seems the next big step will be focusing on security reinforcement. The company has pushed a two-factor authentication service to some of its beta testers on Android client.
Some of WhatsApp recent changes perceived as bad
Even though WhatsApp has been doing its best to give users the perfect communication channel, some of the changes implemented on the popular service have been to some extent unfair. The company has been accused of using underhand methods to stop users from switching to competitors, it recently blocked copying or following links to Telegram. As if that is not enough, at the end of this summer the company also amended its policy to allow data sharing with Facebook.