WhatsApp is already among the most convenient communication services. However, it seems that the popularity of FaceTime and Skype keeps it on the run.
Today, the Facebook-owned chatÂ service is officially launching video calling after the trial of the feature for betaÂ versions of WhatsApp on Android and on Windows Phone. Now, the option is available for over 1 billion users worldwide on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
âWeâre introducing this feature because we know that sometimes voice and text just arenât enoughâ,Â the company said. âThereâs no substitute for watching your grandchild take her first steps, or seeing your daughterâs face while sheâs studying abroad.’â
To start using video calling, WhatsApp users should hit the call button in the top right corner of a conversation, which will bring up an overlaidÂ interstitial asking if you want to voice or video call the friend or family member youâre chatting with. As soon as you want to make a video call, you just select the âvideo callâ option from this screen.
WhatsApp allows its users to switch between the forward-facing and rear camera, muting the call or pressing the red button to hang up during the phone call.
Android and iPhone users will notice slight differences in the interface concerning the buttonsâ size, lineup and placement as well as where the picture-in-picture video feed is displayed.
WhatsApp team admits that the video calling feature is the one that users requested most frequently. The service already supports a number of standard features for communications apps, including group texting and voice calling.
WhatsApp can already boast of a large user base. Improvements in phone cameras, battery life and bandwidth have made the service viable for a significant proportion of WhatsApp users, even those using inexpensive smartphones.
Still, the addition of video calling option can help the company to catch up with multiple competitors such as Facebookâs own Messenger app, Skype, Appleâs FaceTime, Viber, LINE and Googleâs recently launched Duo. Additionally, WhatsApp states its cross-platform support as one of the reasons to use video calling in its app, instead of elsewhere.
ââŚwe want to make these features available to everyone, not just those who can afford the most expensive new phones or live in countries with the best cellular networks,â the company says.
The launch of video calling isnât the only additionÂ WhatsApp has announced. The company also rolled out two-factor authentication in some of its beta versions, saying that this next big release could be a security-focused upgrade.