WhatsApp Is Now Rolling Out Video Calling For iPhone, Android And Windows Phone


WhatsApp Screenshot via iTunes / Screenshot Credit: Amit Chowdhry

WhatsApp Screenshot via iTunes / Screenshot Credit: Amit Chowdhry

WhatsApp has announced that more than one billion users will be able to make video calls on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices “in the coming days.” And to work out all the kinks, WhatsApp has been beta testing this feature over the last few months. This is a highly anticipated feature because WhatsApp users have been requesting it for years.

When you receive the WhatsApp app update with the video calling feature, you can try it out by tapping on the call icon at the top right corner of a chat. Tapping on the “video call” option starts up a video chat with that WhatsApp contact. If you have not received the app update yet, then WhatsApp will simply make a phone call to that contact instead of presenting you with both options.





WhatsApp App Update Screen / Screenshot Credit: Amit Chowdhry

WhatsApp App Update Screen / Screenshot Credit: Amit Chowdhry

As you are using the video calling feature, you can switch between the rear- and the front-facing camera of your device. There is also a mute option if you do not want the receiver to hear what is being said through the microphone. And tapping on the red phone icon hangs up the call.

One of the biggest advantages that video calling on WhatsApp has is that it is cross-platform as opposed to Apple FaceTime — which works on just iOS devices. Plus video calls made using WhatsApp are fully encrypted to prevent unauthorized access from snoopers. By adding the video calling feature, WhatsApp is now on par with other chatting apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber and Google Hangouts / Duo.

“We’re introducing this feature because we know that sometimes voice and text just aren’t enough. There’s no substitute for watching your grandchild take her first steps, or seeing your daughter’s face while she’s studying abroad. And we 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,” said WhatsApp in a blog post.

WhatsApp is also in the process of adding two-factor authentication. According to Android Police, WhatsApp is already testing two-factor authentication in the latest beta versions of the app. This will provide an extra layer of security for the messaging service in order to curb identity theft.






Last month, WhatsApp also added new camera features so that users could place emoji stickers or draw on photos and videos being attached to chats. Plus WhatsApp started supporting animated GIFs last month.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock in February 2014 and the messaging app company has been operating independently since then. WhatsApp had around 50 employees at the time of the acquisition and now there are 200. The bandwidth used to support WhatsApp’s voice and video call features are powered by Facebook’s servers said WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum in an interview with Reuters.

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Controversial Changes In WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy Earlier This Year

As you may recall, WhatsApp made controversial changes to its privacy policy earlier this year. Back in August, WhatsApp updated its privacy policy to inform users how and why it will be sharing data with Facebook. Essentially WhatsApp started sharing phone numbers and usage information with Facebook so the social network company could target its ads and improve “product experiences.” The sharing of WhatsApp data also enables Facebook to enhance its friend suggestions feature. And WhatsApp said that the changes in its privacy policy would help it counter spam and abuse.

In a blog post about the privacy policy change, WhatsApp acknowledged that it has been exploring ways for users to communicate with businesses. In the future, WhatsApp might add a way for banks to contact you about potentially fraudulent transactions or airlines notifying travelers about flight delays. To add these types of features, WhatsApp had to make changes to the privacy policy. Fortunately, WhatsApp takes encryption very seriously so your messages, files, voice calls and video calls will continue to remain private.

What are your thoughts about video calling being added to WhatsApp? Do you plan to use this feature regularly? Please leave a comment!


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