So, a former classmate of mine from back in high school called me today. I realized two things from the call: one is that it was a WhatsApp call; and that two, as I lifted my phone, I appeared as if I was about to take a selfie. It finally dawned on me as I received the call, that it was actually a WhatsApp video call.
The instant messaging giants released the video calling feature on Tuesday, November 15th 2016. It is a feature that definitely brings competition versus Microsoft’s Skype, Google’s Duo and Apple’s FaceTime. The feature, just like normal WhatsApp voice calls, will be free though if you aren’t on Wi-Fi you may have to pay for cellular data usage, depending on your plan. The video calling feature is available to Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone users via an app update, released on the same day.
One major issue that may be of great concern is security encryption. WhatsApp have made sure that video calls will be fully encrypted, end-to-end, making it technically impossible for the company or even government authorities to read messages or listen to calls. The new video calling service will therefore provide another means for people to communicate without fear of eavesdropping, though WhatsApp does retain other data such as an individual’s list of contacts.
To access this feature, make sure you have the latest version of WhatsApp. Make sure you run an update on the app. Then, open WhatsApp, go to the Contacts tab and find and tap the contact you want to initiate a WhatsApp video call with. Tap on the phone icon towards the top of the screen and from the popup, choose Video call.