The Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp will finally allow users to take and make video calls from within its app, with an update to become to available sometime ‘in the next few days.’
Video calling has been rumoured to arrive for a while now and some beta users on the WhatApp beta app for Android have reported seeing the option appear out of the wild over the past month as the social media and messaging company both tested and began tweaking this new feature ahead of its inevitable announcement.
The company announced yesterday that the new feature will be arriving for all its WhatsApp users on Android, Windows Phone, and iOS through an app update arriving “in the coming days.”
So how do you know if your WhatsApp has already been updated with the Video Calling feature? Well all you have to do is to tap on the call icon in a conversation and you’ll see two options appear on-screen – one for voice call and one for video call.
According to the folks over at VentureBeat, a WhatsApp spokesperson has confirmed that video calling will work on both the front and rear facing camera of either your smartphone or tablet which you can easily switch the view that your friends and family see when chatting to you. Video calling will also work either in landscape and portrait modes, and you can multi-task as the video can be minimized to let you check and respond to other messages you receive.
Furthermore, based on the assurance from the WhatsApp spokesperson, the apps’ end-to-end encryption will apply to all video calls made through the app. Sadly though, if you were wanting to make group video calls like you can with Skype, then you might want to stick with Skype for the mean time as WhatsApp has stated that this feature is not currently available, or even coming soon.
Video calling is supported via cellular connectivity as well, not just on WiFi which is good news should you be out and nowhere near WiFi. We do strongly suggest you ensure you have enough data for video calling though, and if you’re not sure, to contact your telco provider.
You can head over to the Play Store via the link below to see if the app has an update ready for you to download or if you want to try out the new feature for the first time: