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WhatsApp has over a billion users in the world, and is one of the fastest growing social networks Here Are the Fastest Growing Social Networks You Need to Join Here Are the Fastest Growing Social Networks You Need to Join While Facebook holds the lion's share of the social market, new services like Kik, Snapchat and WhatsApp threaten to break Facebook's stranglehold on the social Internet. Read More . It’s technically an instant messenger though, but new features make it ever more powerful.

Last year, the company introduced WhatsApp voice calling WhatsApp Voice Call: Everything You Need to Know WhatsApp Voice Call: Everything You Need to Know Popular instant messaging app WhatsApp has finally launched a new voice calling service, enabling users to make phone calls over the Internet. Read More to let users make phone calls over the internet. This year, the new addition is WhatsApp video calling. It was a beta feature You Can Now Make Video Calls on WhatsApp You Can Now Make Video Calls on WhatsApp WhatsApp is rolling out video calling to random Android users, but the feature is available to anyone willing to install the latest beta. iOS users are out of luck for now. Read More  until last month, but now it’s officially released for everyone and all platforms.

What to Know About WhatsApp Video Calls

Video calling is exactly what it sounds like. You “call” a friend with the WhatsApp, and both of you can see each other on your smartphone screens. It’s like what Skype has been doing for years.

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WhatsApp video calling works across the three major mobile operating systems: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. This makes WhatsApp one of the best smartphone apps for free cross-platform video calls Best Smartphone Apps for Free Cross-Platform Video Calls Best Smartphone Apps for Free Cross-Platform Video Calls It doesn't matter your platform -- from Mac to PC to Android and everything in between -- one of these apps will let you make video calls. Read More .

It is technically free, in the sense that WhatsApp isn’t charging you any money to make the call. However, video calls need internet, so it will be consuming data from your phone’s data plan. If you are using WhatsApp Call over a Wi-Fi connection, your phone’s network carrier (e.g. AT&T, Vodafone, etc.) won’t charge you anything. A quick reminder, you can check how much data WhatsApp has used 10 Awesome WhatsApp Tricks You Should Know 10 Awesome WhatsApp Tricks You Should Know Want to trick out WhatsApp so it's the best-looking, most amazing chatting tool on your phone? Here's how. Read More .

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Existing users will need to update their app, while new users can download it. The feature is available on Android right now, and will be rolling out to iOS and Windows Phone within a day. WhatsApp is completely free.

Download — WhatsApp for Android (Free), for iOS (Free), or for Windows Phone (Free)

This is the only official way to get WhatsApp video calling. Don’t fall for WhatsApp scams 4 WhatsApp Scams You Need to Beware Of and Avoid 4 WhatsApp Scams You Need to Beware Of and Avoid Like with anything on the internet that has millions of users, scammers are targeting WhatsApp. You need to know the common WhatsApp scams and how to protect yourself from them. Read More that offer other ways to get the feature.

What You Can Do With WhatsApp Video Calls

WhatsApp’s video calls are a part of the existing voice calls feature. Placing a video call is pretty simple. You choose the contact you want to talk to, tap the phone icon next to their name, and choose “Video Call” from the dialog that pops up. Here’s a quick demonstration:

The other person can answer or reject the call. If they answer, you’re ready to go.

By default, it uses the front-facing camera of your phone. This doesn’t include the front-facing “flash” which is one of WhatsApp’s new features you should know about All the New Features in WhatsApp You Need to Know About All the New Features in WhatsApp You Need to Know About Being one of the fastest growing social networks on the planet, WhatsApp needs to keep reinventing. These are the latest highlights you should know about. Read More . However, you can switch this to the rear camera at any point with a tap on the screen. It’s seamless and just works.

You can also mute the microphone, so the other person can see you but not hear you. To mute the audio from the speakers, use your phone’s volume buttons.

Better Internet Speeds

Whenever you make a video call, WhatsApp does not assume any internet speed. So it will calculate your speed each tie, and adjust the video quality accordingly. This makes a remarkable difference in how good the video looks.

One Redditor made a short clip comparing WhatsApp video calls and Apple’s FaceTime. WhatsApp looks far better in that battle. Watch it for yourself:

We tried WhatsApp Video Calling on 4G, 3G, and 2G networks, and it worked on all three. The 2G network’s video quality was poor and pixellated, but it was still smooth enough to know what was happening on screen. The lack of lag was refreshing.

Multi-Tasking While on Call

The second highlight of WhatsApp’s video calls is the multi-tasking feature. Most smartphone video calls force you to use the video call and nothing else. You can’t multi-task. However, WhatsApp has no such restrictions.

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You can tap the “Message” button at any point to check other messages that someone has sent you on WhatsApp, and even reply to them. To return to your video call, tap the green bar at the top of the app.

What You Can’t Do With WhatsApp Video Calls

Although it works well, there are still a few missing features in WhatsApp Video Calls. And those can be dealbreakers for some people.

No WhatsApp Web or Desktop Support

While WhatsApp requires a smartphone and an active internet connection, you can still use it on a computer. You can do it via the WhatsApp desktop client WhatsApp Desktop Client for Windows & Mac Is Only Second Best WhatsApp Desktop Client for Windows & Mac Is Only Second Best WhatsApp finally released an official desktop client for Windows and Mac. Notifications and keyboard shortcuts aside, it's identical to WhatsApp Web for your browser. We show you how it works and better alternatives. Read More or the WhatsApp Web browser client WhatsApp Web: Everything You Need To Know WhatsApp Web: Everything You Need To Know Along with supporting all mobile platforms, WhatsApp has now launched a web-based client, so you can finally use WhatsApp on your PC and sync with your phone. Read More . However, neither of these support video calls.

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On the other hand, apps like Skype or FaceTime are available on both computers and phones, and can cross-call between the two. This might be a big issue for some people.

No Group Video Calls

WhatsApp video calls are only one-to-one. It’s a little disappointing, since WhatsApp’s group chats are one of its most popular features.

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So, if you want to chat face to face with a group of friends, you’re going to need to use a different app. Right now, Appear.in is probably your best bet Move Over Google Plus Hangouts. Appear.in Is Here & It's Really Good Move Over Google Plus Hangouts. Appear.in Is Here & It's Really Good People have been crying out for a decent video conferencing app for ages. We thought that was Google Plus. We were wrong. Meet Appear.in. Read More , although Skype and other video call apps also support this.

How Much Data Does Video Calling Use?

WhatsApp’s focus is to make the video call look as good as possible. So if it can give you higher quality, it’s going to do that. And that results in high data usage. If you’re not on Wi-Fi, this can quickly eat through cellular data caps.

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On average, we found a minute’s call to use 5 MB of data on 4G, 3.75 MB on 3G, and 3 MB on 2G. This isn’t bad at all, and much less than what we expected. A few Twitter users also recorded similar numbers:

WhatsApp’s settings have an option to reduce the data used on voice calls. If you’re worried about data usage, you can try this option to see if it also reduces video call data. And there are other ways to WhatsApp’s reduce data usage 7 New WhatsApp Features You Need to Check Out 7 New WhatsApp Features You Need to Check Out WhatsApp developers have recently added a whole bunch of new abilities that make the app better than ever. Plus, WhatsApp is now free forever! Read More .

Have You Tried WhatsApp Video Calling?

Have you got the new WhatsApp video calling feature and tried it out? What do you think of it? Did it work well for you, or did you have any troubles?

  1. Moumita
    November 23, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Hi
    The problem I am facing is that the other person can see me but I cannot see the person. I am using a Samsung A3. Rare occassion i can see the other person but for a couple of seconds. This is the problem even with the strongest of wifi. Pl help to resolve this problem

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