After what seems like forever, the world’s most popular messenger app – WhatsApp Messenger – has finally introduced video calling via updates to the mobile app on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
Users have to simply go to the corresponding app store for iOS, Android or Windows Phone 8.1 / Windows 10 Mobile and download an update. There’s no major change to the interface, but on Android, when you select a contact from your list and hit the telephone receiver icon to call them, you’ll see a new popup that gives you two options – video call and voice call. On an iOS device, you’ll see a new video icon that you can use to launch a video call with a contact.
I’ve just tried this out on my Android phone and it works just fine. The call quality is great, as with the older version, and the video is quite clear as well. Of course, video quality will depend on your smartphone model, the front camera resolution and internet speed, but even with cellular data I didn’t see that much degradation or choppiness on the video part.
WhatsApp, of course, is owned by Facebook, so this app now competes directly with Facebook Messenger in many ways. There are still a lot of features that WhatsApp doesn’t have, like chat bot support, native stickers and so on. Facebook and WhatsApp have both remained silent on monetization features, but we know that they’re looking at various options, such as allowing business accounts so customers can connect directly with the company.
In the description, it says WhatsApp supports “digital purchases”, but for the life of me I haven’t figured out what that’s actually for! E-commerce platform Shopify does have something called WhatsApp Share, where you can set up an e-commerce store and then have your products promoted on WhatsApp by your customers, but the messaging platform itself doesn’t currently support purchases of any kind. Maybe they’ve got something cooking that we don’t know about yet.
Here are your resource links for getting the new WhatsApp version with video calling:
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