WhatsApp has updated its popular instant messaging app,  to add support for a very important feature, video calls. The app has been incredibly popular in India, Brazil, and many other parts of the world, where SMS aka texting, is not free.

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It is actually very surprising that it has taken this long for WhatsApp to add support for video calls. The app enabled voice calling in 2015, which was followed by voice messaging and call back support, back in July, this year.

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Voice calls in WhatsApp comes at the right time though, ready to take on Google Duo, which can only make video calls at the moment, but is touted to add voice calling soon. But with its already massive userbase, I’m going to say the odds are strongly in favour of WhatsApp.

Here are a few screenshots which show WhatsApp Video Calling’s UI: (the one above is the incoming video call screen)

The above screens in order from left to right are, choose a calling option (from a conversation window), the in-video call screen, and the call history tab. If you have made a video call to a contact it is listed separately, as is the case with audio calls made to the same contact.

How to enable video calling in WhatsApp:

  1. Visit the WhatsApp Beta Test page. Make sure you are logged in to the same Google account, that you use on your phone.
  2. Click on the “Become a Tester” button.
  3. Wait for a few minutes, and then open the Play Store app on your phone and update WhatsApp.

The version we tested was WhatsApp 2.16.318.

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