WhatsApp have finally gone video. The Facebook owned cross-platform app has made its video calling features available to all users.
Using WhatsApp, you can make a video call in the same way you make an audio call: simply open a chat screen with a contact, then select the Video Call option. Voila. The call will launch and you will see and hear your contact just like any similar app.
Early reviews indicate that the video quality is somewhere between good-enough to hassle-free. So far, WhatsApps is more interested in promising constant improvement rather than providing any guarantees.
The feature has actually been in beta testing for a while now. In the last couple of weeks, its gone live to anyone with the latest version of the app installed.
WhatsApp claims they’ve dedicated themselves to making sure the full range of services are available to all of their users, including ones who might have older and/or less expensive devices or who live in areas with less advanced mobile networks.
Positioned as a quality option for budget-conscious users, they’re elbowing into a space alongside the likes of Skype, Facetime and Google Duo.
Nudging the competition
WhatsApp’s first hope for the new capability will be to motivate its existing user base to stop using competitor apps.
WhatsApp launched voice calling in 2015—uptake has been such that it already facilitates more than 100 million voice calls each day. If WhatsApp users adopt its video calling capabilities in the same way, they’ll put Google, Apple and Microsoft on notice.