WhatsApp is currently beta testing the video-calling feature for iOS, which is only available on few devices running the beta version of the app. Android Police has put out screenshots from users, who help translate WhatsApp to different languages. The report says the users had received ‘new strings to translate, including Video call’ and that ‘Video calling is unavailable at this time’.
While voice-calling was announced last year, it appears to be the natural next step of progression for WhatsApp. It will, however, be interesting to see how WhatsApp video calls perform on mobile Internet. WhatsApp is also working on inviting people to groups via NFC tags and QR codes. Snapchat currently has support for adding users via QR codes. A’Call Back’ feature might also make its way to the platform,. Currently on WhatsApp one only sees the missed calls. Plus a ‘Record Voice mail’ and ‘Send Voice Mail’ buttons might soon appear. Also, WhatsApp users might soon be able to share ZIP files over it. Recently the app added support for users to share DOCX, DOCS, VCF and PDF files. The ZIP file sharing will prove to be a very useful feature for users as it compresses large files. WhatsApp is also end-to-end encrypted, making chats private for all users.
For WhatsApp, adding new features is no longer a question of choice, but one of necessity. With over 900 million monthly active users, the app is now as big as its parent company Facebook. Plus the messaging space has evolved drastically in the last one year or so. Rivals like Telegram, Snapchat, offer a variety of interesting features, while specialized apps like Slack have also come up, geared towards enterprise messaging. Facebook Messenger now has support for Chatbots to help connect users with businesses. We’ll have to wait and see when the new WhatsApp features are rolled out and whether they will be optimized for slower networks.