WhatsApp is finally rolling out the highly-anticipated voice and video calling feature for the Desktop app. In a tweet, the instant messaging company says that the feature is rolling out now, while there’s no word over its availability for the web client. The Facebook-owned platform claims that similar to the voice and video calling on the phone apps, the Desktop app also offers end-to-end encryption for security. Though WhatsApp calling does not directly compete against Zoom or Google Meet video conferencing platforms, the new option will still be useful for its massive userbase who now have an additional option.
In a statement, WhatsApp explains that the video calling feature on the WhatsApp Desktop app will support both portrait and landscape orientations. The video appears in a resizable standalone window on the computer screen and is positioned at the top so that users do not miss their chats. As mentioned, voice and video calls on WhatsApp Desktop are end-to-end encrypted, meaning that the data travels from one device to another in an encrypted form to prevent snooping, even from WhatsApp. To use the new video calling feature, users will have to set up the WhatsApp desktop app on either Mac or PC, which requires that you already be a WhatsApp user on mobile. After installing the desktop app (from WhatsApp website) , users will then scan a QR code to log in.
Sometimes you just need a little more space. Secure and reliable, end-to-end encrypted voice and video calls are now available on our desktop app. Download now: https://t.co/JCc3rUunoU pic.twitter.com/PgCl76Mn7U
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) March 4, 2021
Currently, voice and video calling is only available for one-to-one chats and will later come to group chats. On WhatsApp for Android and iOS, group chats support up to eight people during a single voice or video call.
Earlier, the voice and video calling icons started appearing on WhatsApp Web though the feature was still under development. The Facebook-owned messaging platform will likely roll out the stable version in the coming months. WhatsApp had also announced that its apps (for Android and iOS) clocked 1.4 billion voice and video calls on the last New Year’s eve – breaking all its previous records. The growth in video and voice calls not just on WhatsApp but elsewhere, is mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has pushed people to stay indoors.