Before we get down to WhatsApp Video-Calling, how many messaging apps out there currently have this feature? Well, there is Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Viber, Snapchat, KaoKao Talk and Skype (of course, Skype).
Well, you can now add WhatsApp to that category. The video calling feature is currently available in the beta (version 2.16.80) of the app for Android. You can make a call under the call icon, which now gives you two options: make a voice call or a video call.
Beta testers can already get the version with the video calling feature from Play Store; it is limited to a group of users signed up to test early unstable release of WhatsApp. However, the app does not function just yet. There are reports from various sources online where people tested the video call function and got the following message:
“Couldn’t place call. Video calling in unavailable at this time.”
Video calling feature has been one of the most waited for features on WhatsApp. The app has so far delivered most of the other highly anticipated features like file sharing, voice calling, document sharing and added a bonus end-to-end encryption for all users.
Credit: GSM Arena
It is now safe to say WhatsApp is well on its way to becoming the alpha among instant messaging apps. Sure it offers most of the features other instant messaging apps offer, but it takes it as far as availing end-to-end encryption. Also the fact, that it doesn’t require the bothersome process of user usernames and passwords logins make it easy and quick to use for many people around the world. Take, for instance, in regions where email address is not a common thing; most instant messaging apps often require email address during the signing up process.
Although the WhatsApp video calling feature is not yet operational; at least as per the currently reported information, you can still give it a test drive. You can download the WhatsApp beta APK file from APK Mirror.
The article above was written when WhatsApp v.2.16.80 for Android was released. However, when v.2.16.81 for Android was released, it emerged that WhatsApp withdrew the video calling feature completely and for everyone.
There has also been no official communication as to why the feature was removed. Though it would be a safe guess to say the company is not yet capable of rolling out the feature, and certainly not to the masses.