WhatsApp has introduced a number of new features in recent months but perhaps the most eagerly awaited has been video calling. Some users briefly flirted with video calls back in May but it took until October before a wider set of Android device owners could get involved. Now, the Facebook-owned company has unleashed video calls on feature to iOS, Android and Windows devices.
Users accessing the Facebook-owned messaging app on iOS, Android and Windows can now visually chat with friends but also multitask within other apps at the same time. So if a call goes on for too long, users can distract themselves by scrolling through Instagram.
The feature also has a major emphasis on security. Like messages and phone calls on WhatsApp, the video chat functionality will be encrypted by default. This means only the two devices involved in the conversation can access the shared data.
When the feature is activated on your phone, open a chat and select the phone icon. You’ll then be given an option to place a voice or video call. When we tested the feature, we found that voice and video quality was excellent over strong WiFi, but your mileage may vary if you’re connecting via a mobile or slower broadband connection.
While Facebook Messenger users have enjoyed voice calls for over a year and a half, many popular messaging apps like still don’t offer the feature. With over one billion users, WhatsApp’s video calls can connect people all over the world, regardless of their choice of mobile operating system, allowing it stay ahead of apps like Google’s Allo.