For a while now, I’ve been wondering when WhatsApp would launch video calling. I guess I have to wonder no more as earlier today the Facebook-owned chat service officially launched video calling for its over 1 billion users worldwide on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Its debut follows a series of reports from people who recently found the feature had been enabled in beta versions of WhatsApp on Android and on Windows Phone – an indication that a public debut was on the horizon.
To use the new feature, WhatsApp users can hit the call button in the top right corner of a conversation, which will bring up an overlaid interstitial asking if you want to voice or video call the friend or family member you’re chatting with. To kick off the video call, you simply select the “video call” option from this screen.
You may not immediately see video calling in WhatsApp today, however. The roll-out is staged, meaning it will arrive over the days ahead as it reaches the entire WhatsApp user base.
Video calling isn’t the only new addition to arrive recently. The company also rolled out two-factor authentication in some of its beta versions, hinting that its next big release could be a security-focused upgrade.
By retaining its simple interface but embracing more vivid connections beyond texting, WhatsApp could flourish with users no matter how they want to communicate.