As of today, you no longer need to jump through hoops or install the beta version to make WhatsApp video calls. In the latest update released yesterday, WhatsApp has finally released the video calling feature to all of its 1 billion+ users across Android, iOS and Windows Phone. On Android, you’ll need to be running Android 4.1 and above to be able to use the feature. Anyone you want to call must also have the latest WhatsApp update installed.
Currently you can only make one to one video calls, group calls are not supported.
Where’s The Video Call Button?
If you’ve just updated to the latest version from the Play Store, you might be having difficulty actually locating the video call button. See, on Android, the option is hidden behind the “Call” button ( as supposed to iOS where the feature has its own button in the toolbar).
To make the call, first you’ll need to go into the conversation for the person.
Then, from the top toolbar, tap on the “Call” button with the phone icon. Now, from the popup, select “Video call“. If you don’t see the option here even after you’ve updated to the latest version, be patient, it will show up in the next few days.
You’ll now get to the video call screen that shows a preview of your camera view. Once the opposite party accepts the call, it will be replaced by their camera view.
There are 4 buttons on the screen. The red button is to end the call. The three buttons on the bottom are to flip the camera, to go back to the conversation (while keeping the call active) and to mute the call. You should know that when you go back to the conversation, the video recording sharing while the audio conversation continues. You can get back to the call by tapping the green bar at the top.
It’s hardly been a day since the feature went live but our initial impressions for the feature aren’t that great. The video quality was grainy and pixelated and audio sometimes dropped for a second. This might be because the feature is still new and WhatsApp is still scaling its servers.
We hope the quality improves as we go forward but if you’re looking for a better video quality chat, we’d recommend you give Facebook Messenger or even Skype a shot.
While the quality might not be the best, this is of course a great addition to the app. It now gives instant access to video calls to over a billion people. These are people who might not have Skype installed and configured.
What has your video calling experience with WhatsApp been like? Share with us in the comments below.