Five years and a billion users later, WhatsApp is now fully free!
WhatsApp now boasts of a billion users around the globe. It has virtually turned SMS extinct and hosts as many as 100 million voice calls every day. Users can share media, photos and videos quickly with each other on the platform and today, the company has finally completed the circle by introducing what many thought was overdue- a video calling feature.
To make a video call on WhatsApp, you won't have to search for the function on settings. All you will need to do is to tap on the phone icon and two icons will pop up- one for making voice calls and another for making video calls. Tap on the video calling one and that's where the tutorial ends. The feature is quite bare, which means that you won't get to change resolutions or toggle other settings. It's all about two faces alongside each other- yours and the one you're talking to.
Coming soon: WhatsApp apps for PCs and Macs
“We want it to be simple," said Manpreet Singh, lead engineer at WhatsApp to The Wired. “We want to make sure people understand how video calls can be done. That’s been the model for everything we’ve developed at WhatsApp.” The app, though simplistic, will still let you check messages from others, minimise the app or rotate your phone without interrupting a video call, which could make it among the most user-friendly video calling apps around. The feature has also been designed to work in the cheapest of phones and on the worst of network signals, while controlling frame rate and resolution to ensure that your video calls don't get dropped.
Even though a lot of people are used to making video calls on Skype or, more recently, Google's Duo, it is possible that because of it's reach and massive user base, WhatsApp's video calling feature may take off instantly. The app doesn't make any claims except that it can work in any condition, which is a blessing that nobody, especially those living in regions with low data speeds, would shudder to accept.