Wednesday, 16 November 2016 06:05

WhatsApp? Video calling on WhatsApp, that’s what’s up

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What’s up with WhatsApp not having video calling? Well, wait up no longer – video calling is arriving over "the coming days".

WhatsApp is the voice and text messaging service that is recently and newly end-to-end encrypted and secure, and which has taken the messaging world by storm over the past few years.

So, when you have one of the world’s most popular voice and text messaging services, what can you add next?

Clearly, video is the feature that you’ll soon be seeing as people can make video calls to their favourite WhatsApp using friends – with, presumably, the same end-to-end encrypted security.

The Facebook-owned company made the announcement in its official blog, noting its goal "has always been to help as many people as possible stay in touch with friends, family, and others they care about".

It says this means "making a product that’s simple, easy to use, and accessible no matter where you are".

Proudly boasting of having "started with messaging and Group Chat, and then adding voice calling", the company says it did this "in a way that works across thousands of device and platform combinations all over the world".

So, now comes the company’s next step in its efforts to connect people – WhatsApp video calling.

In the coming days, WhatsApp says its more than "one billion users can make video calls across Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone devices".

WhatsApp says it is "introducing this feature because we know that sometimes voice and text just aren’t enough".

After all, we’re told that "there’s no substitute for watching your grandchild take her first steps, or seeing your daughter’s face while she’s studying abroad".

And, the company wants "to make these features available to everyone, not just those who can afford the most expensive new phones or live in countries with the best cellular networks".

Noting that over the years the company has "received many requests from our users for video calling", it says it is "excited to finally offer this feature to the world".

WhatsApp thanks us all for using the service and promises "to keep working hard every day to improve the service".

Chris Haddock, head of marketing at OpenCloud, commented on WhatsApp's launch of video calling and said: “The operator’s dominant position for providing voice services is threatened by third-party VoIP providers, such as WhatsApp and Skype. These Internet players are constantly evolving their communications offerings, keeping them relevant to their subscriber base and on-top of the latest innovations in the marketplace. WhatsApp offering video calling to its global customer base is just the latest example of an Internet company focusing on real-time communications services to enhance the customer experience.

“How should operators respond? With their years’ of experience in communications, there is no reason why they too cannot roll-out global voice and video services, with a rich variety of features that will attract the modern subscriber. The move to all-IP communications brings with it the chance to break free from the old, slow and expensive methods of service innovation.

“By turning to agile software solutions, deployed within open virtualised environments, operators can rapidly develop new services with in-house teams or external developers, launching Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Video over LTE (ViLTE) service portfolios to a global customer base. Operators need to think outside of their domestic market place and their current subscriber base and start thinking like a webco.” 

So, now you know what’s up, and you’ll soon be able to "see" it for yourself!

whatsapp video calling


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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