There were reports of the video calling feature being enabled in some of the beta builds of the Android application of WhatsApp after it was introduced in the beta version of Windows Phone and iOS app of the Facebook-owned messaging app.
Today, WhatsApp has officially launched video calling feature on Android, iOS and Windows Phone for more than a billion of its users across the globe. By introducing this feature, WhatsApp is trying to catch up with rival services, such as Facebook’s own Messenger app, Skype, Apple’s FaceTime, Viber, LINE and Google’s recently launched Duo, to name a few.
To use the new feature, you need to hit the call button in the top right corner of a conversation, which will bring up a covered interstitial asking if you want to voice or video call the friend or family member you are chatting with. To use the video call, you need to simple choose the “video call” option from this screen.
While you are on the call, you can mute the call, switch between the forward-facing and rear camera, or press the red button to end the call. The user interface is slightly different on Android and iPhone in terms of where the picture-in-picture video feed is displayed, as well as the buttons’ size, line-up and placement.
Recently, WhatsApp had added support for GIFs on iOS and began testing a Snapchat-like feature that allows you to share images that you can draw on or add stickers to, in a ‘Status’. It is also said that the company has rolled out two-factor authentication in some of its beta versions, suggesting that its next big release could be a security-focused upgrade.
The video calling is expected to be available worldwide in the next few days, as the feature rolls out across platforms around the globe.