WhatsApp is the widely used messaging app in the world with over one billion active users is adding a new feature to its app. Starting today users will be able to make full encrypted video calls for free. Yes, WhatsApp has added video calling feature to its messaging app in the first days of the week.
The update was rolled out immediately to Android, iOS and Windows platforms. If you have not updated the app, get it done immediately. There is no charge for using video calling feature in WhatsApp, however, you’ll end up paying bills in form of cellular data if you are not on Wi-Fi.
The Facebook owned messaging company has been onto several controversies and criticism after the introduction of end-to-end encryption early this year, making it technically impossible for the company or government authorities to read messages or listen to calls. The new video calling service will thus 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.
The update has been rolled out to 180 countries with immediate effect. The catch in WhatsApp is that that it can optimize itself based on the available internet connection, phone camera and battery. The company has announced that it has more than 160 million active users in India, making it its biggest market.
After acquisition by Facebook, the company bumped its employees to 200 from 50 and it is using its parent company Facebook’s servers and bandwidth across the globe for voice and video calls. In return, WhatsApp allowed Facebook to access its user’s data on personal consent.
“In terms of security and privacy, what people care about the most is the privacy of their messages,” said Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder. Koum said WhatsApp remained committed to security after the U.S. election of Donald Trump as president last week heightened fears of increased surveillance.
When you press the tiny phone icon on user’s chat window, WhatsApp will give you two options of voice call and video call. The video call feature is available only to users having the latest version of the app. In case, your partner doesn’t have the latest version of the app, you’ll not be able to use video call.
With the addition of video calling, WhatsApp will compete with the likes of Apple’s FaceTime, Microsoft-owned Skype, and Google’s newly launched Duo.
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