WhatsApp has started rolling out video calling to Android, iOS and Windows Phone users, finally bringing a much requested feature to the platform.
WhatsApp announced the move just a week after launching GIF support for iPhone users, saying that it’s finally going to take on Apple’s FaceTime, Microsoft’s Skype and Google Duo with a video calling feature for its billion-plus users.
The feature will roll out to iOS, Android and Windows Phone users over the “next few days”, WhatsApp said, and it will be free to use.
Once the feature is live in the app, the video calling button is located in the same place as voice calls, under the phone icon in one-on-one chats.
There’s no support for group video calling yet, and the feature itself is pretty basic: you can switch between the forward-facing and rear-facing camera, mute the call or press the red button to hang up.
WhatsApp said in a blog post that it is adding the feature to give users another means to communicate: “We’re introducing this feature because we know that sometimes voice and text just aren’t enough.
“There’s no substitute for watching your grandchild take her first steps, or seeing your daughter’s face while she’s studying abroad. And we want 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.”
This isn’t the only feature WhatsApp has rolled out over the past few days. As reported by Android Police, the service has added two-factor authentication to some of the latest beta versions of the app.
If you’re using a beta version of WhatsApp, you can go to settings and switch on the added security measure. You’ll be asked to enter a six-digit passcode that you’ll need to key in each time you register your number with the service.