There are signs that the 1 billion strong WhatsApp may be preparing to launch video calls. This was reported by the Android Authority website yesterday. A beta (pre-launch phase) version for Android included this option. This comes as its sister Facebook Messenger app launched a group voice calling feature which allows users within a group to voice chat. It is reported that the soon to be launched video calls on WhatsApp has been in the works for about six months with iOS version leaks in December. Over the weekend, multiple users reported that a “Video Call” option was added to the call button in the chat interface of WhatsApp beta version 2.16.80. Normally, the call button takes you straight to the audio call, but with this update, users could choose between audio and video. The Video Call option was inactive. Fone Arena reported that some users were able to initiate video calls, but we didn’t see any proof for that.
The Video Call option wasn’t ready for the public, because it was removed with a later update. But it looks like we’re in the final stages before the rollout says Android Authority.
WhatsApp introduced its voice call feature first on Android last year and later on iOS. Facebook owns WhatsApp and together with Facebook Messenger, both have a user base of close to 2 billion users and based on a stat from Facebook, 60 billion messages are sent daily on both apps which is three times the capacity of SMS.