Where form meets function

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has announced that it will launch video calling for the first time, bringing the service up to speed with competing apps such as Messenger, Skype and WeChat.

WhatsApp has been experimenting with beta video rollouts since May and the news will be welcomed by the more than 1 billion monthly active users of the service. A major plus point of WhatsApp’s video calling is cross-platform support, unlike FaceTime, which only works with Apple devices, and Google Duo, which isn’t compatible with older versions of iOS.

The new feature is simple to use, with users needing only to select the “video call” option from the top-right corner of a conversation to enable it. The call can then be switched between forward-facing and rear camera. “Today we’re excited to announce the next step in our efforts to connect people – WhatsApp video calling,” said the company in a statement. “In the coming days, WhatsApp’s more than one billion users can make video calls across Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone devices.”

The staged rollout should mean the function is available to the entire user base within the next couple of days. In the meantime, be sure to check out Facebook’s upcoming Messenger Rooms feature.

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