WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app and the reason that Facebook ponied up $19.3 billion for it on February 19, 2014. February is quite significant for WhatsApp, not only did the two former Yahoo employees who co-founded it see their massive paycheck in February but this year in the same month the company announced that WhatsApp hit the magical user number of one billion.

Whatsapp
Photo by MIH83 (Pixabay)

Already wildly and widely popular WhatsApp steps up its game

There is a reason that WhatsApp is the most popular of all the messaging apps worldwide; it’s simple and owing to its popularity there is a good chance that anyone you were looking to contact already has it installed. Now, there are countries such as South Korea and Japan that prefer other messaging apps such as Line but WhatsApp in the aggregate is the world’s most-used messaging application.

Now, I have an iMac at home, a MacBook Air for travel an iPhone (along with a Galaxy S7)  an iPad Mini and I truly love Facetime. Facetime is a remarkable video chat program that works damn near flawlessly and gives me high-quality video each and every time I use it. Last night, for instance, I was treated to a “call” I made from Madison, WI on my MacBook to my ex-half girlfriend presently cat sitting for me in Guatemala. Not only did I call at the right time to see both my cats, Bette and Bebe, but the sound and video quality was fantastic for the fight that followed with Joelle. But again, she was using my iMac and Facetime doesn’t allow for video chats with PCs or Android devices, and this is likely something that Apple will never change.

It’s for this reason that I’m forced to use Skype on a regular basis or Facebook for cross-platform video chats. This could become a thing of the past for me and presumably hundreds of millions of others when using my phone for a video chat with WhatsApp finally rolling out video calling.

A matter of when not if

As a Facebook property, it was just a matter of time. While Google rolled out Duo for video chatting a couple of months ago, it still doesn’t support voice-only calling (though it has been announced) and for this reason, I’ve not added it to my communications suite. Following the news that WhatsApp has added video support, it’s likely now that I never will. Well, that is assuming that WhatsApp will get on its horse and add video support for iOS soon, or I’ll still be using Skype.

WhatsApp video calling is simple from what I’ve seen from it after installing the WhatsApp beta version 2.16.318 from APK Mirror.

All you need to do is select a conversation and touch the call button, which is the same graphic representation of a telephone that WhatsApp has always employed since audio calling was made an option. At this point, you will be prompted by a pop-up window to decide between a voice call or a video call, and you’re home. The addition of this popup window should limit accidental calls or “butt dials.”

Of course, for you to make a video call on WhatsApp both users will need to have a version that supports video calling, but by the looks of it, anyone with using WhatsApp for Android will have it soon enough.