The new feature is for iOS, Android and even Windows phone.
WhatsApp video calling has arrived.
The Facebook-owned messaging app added FaceTime-style video chats in an app update on Tuesday. The feature only supports one-to-one calls at the moment, but all messages are end-to-end encrypted, just like WhatsApp’s text and voice calls.
WhatsApp’s move into video messaging is not a surprise given the number of other companies offering alternative features. Apple, Google, Snapchat and even Facebook Messenger already have some sort of video messaging functionality.
While WhatsApp may not be early to the party, the company has a reputation for doing few things, but doing them very well. Video calling will be no exception, promised Manpreet Singh, WhatsApp’s lead software engineer, but he added that the call quality will be highly dependent on each user’s available bandwidth. This will be key given that many of WhatsApp’s one billion users live in emerging markets like Brazil and India, where wireless networks are often poor.
“Not a lot of [our users] are techies; they are people who want to use WhatsApp for daily communication,” Singh told Recode. “For them, simplicity is really important.”
The new feature will be available soon on iOS, Android and Windows phone.