WhatsApp has introduced a new feature likely to strike fear into the hearts of its competitors: video calling.
After months in the beta stage, the Facebook-owned tech giant rolled out the update on Tuesday to its more than one billion monthly users.
The latest feature could be bad news for rivals such as Skype and Apple’s Facetime, as Whatsapp ups the ante in its effort to position itself as a one-stop-shop for communications. Users will be able to make video calls across Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone devices in the coming days, according to a statement posted on the company’s blog.
The new functionality looks similar to the normal voice calling feature, however a picture-in-picture feed will allow you to see yourself and who you’re talking to.
“Today we’re excited to announce the next step in our efforts to connect people – WhatsApp video calling,” the statement read.
“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.”
Video calling is one of several new additions to WhatsApp’s feature suite in recent weeks.
In October, the company rolled-out a feature that allowed users to draw on images, similar to functionalities found on Snapchat, Instagram and iMessage