Whatsapp, the world’s number one insta messaging service app has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last one year. While in the earlier, it was purely a messenger service using which you could send text chats to your friends over internet and save on SMS charges. Whatsapp had the advantage of being the first in the industry and that is what helped the messenger service expand its base to over a billion active users. However, over a period of time Whatsapp evolved and soon, became a one-stop shop for all messenger needs. From talking with emoticons to sending fun voice messages, you could do it all over Whatsapp. And while it is still one of the most used messenger services, there were still some features missing. Like video calling.
While sending messages over Whatsapp was fun, some things could just not be said over messages. And that is exactly why, Skype was so loved because it provided free video calling. However, there was a lot of issue with Skype and though it was pretty useful for professionals, it wasn’t exactly very easy to use as an app. Also, while using over poorer networks, there was the need of lighter, more user-friendly app. And thus came in the app Viber which instantly gained a lot of popularity in the market in the video calling segment. It became synonymous with video calling in a lot of international markets and the users simply loved the app. However, for Whatsapp, which stuck firmly to messaging, it was like competition as users began to prefer calling to messaging. Soon, the market was littered with video calling apps but Whatsapp stuck to its guns and continued with messaging. But the pressure on it was rising as users wanted a one solution app.
Looks like finally, users are going to see their demands come to fruition. The latest beta Android update of Whatsapp comes with a video calling feature. The feature is working across multiple devices but for now, it is restricted only to Android. There is no news whether this is still the initial stage or if there will be slight modifications made before the final version is rolled out. Also, there’s no timeline announced as to when the update will be available for iOS users or other OS users. Whatsapp generally launches beta versions of their updates in the initial stages post which, they carry an update on their blog and then the update is officially rolled out via Play store or iTunes store. Also, depending on the region you live in and the phone you us, you might get the update really early or it might get delayed. However, this is one update we really hope comes soon.
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But then, how does it work? The video feature works through the normal calls tab. On opening the tab, you get a list of your contacts and next to the contacts is the call icon. You press the call icon next to the name of the contact you wish to call. While initially on pressing this call button, the voice call would immediately be placed, you now get two options – whether you wish to make a video call or a regular voice call. The options are presented only if both the parties have the updated beta version. If even one party does not have the updated version, there’ll be an error shown by Whatsapp and a message that the call could not be connected will be shown. Also, once the call is connected, there’s no clarity on what will you see till it connects – whether it’ll be the user’s profile picture or it will be your own video or profile picture. As the update is in beta mode, Whatsapp seems to be testing multiple options.
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Well, it sounds definitely great and we’re super excited to see this new feature actually roll out. When it initially launched, it was simple and stayed that way for a very long time. However, since it’s takeover by Facebook, there have been a whole lot of tweaks and changes that the giant seems to be rolling out to Whatsapp and making it stronger in times of tough competition. We recently saw Whatsapp ape competitor Snapchat and launch image editing through their camera feature. They also gave the option for a selfie flash for front cameras. These new updates are definitely keeping Whatsapp exciting and making us fall more and more in love with the app daily. Now only, give us the official update already Whatsapp!