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Is WhatsApp poised to launch video calling feature?

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By Doug Zanger, Americas Editor

May 16, 2016 | 2 min read

In a twist of digital intrigue, it was reported by Gadgets360 that WhatsApp, the popular, Facebook-owned messaging platform, added, then removed, a video-calling feature.

In an Android update on the Google Play beta testing program site, Version 2.16.80 apparently had the feature while the latest version, 2.16.81, shows no sign of it. Further, a German website, Macerkopf, leaked images of the feature on iOS in December, indicating that a video-calling plan may have been afoot for some time.

WhatsApp video calling feature (photo posted at Fonearena)

WhatsApp, with a reported 1bn active users in February, recently touted end-to-end encryption and Phone Radar reported that several other features, including a “call back” feature that allows users to call back without opening the app, voicemail and zip file sharing, are expected to roll out in the near future. It also recently launched desktop apps for Windows and Mac.

As far as the video calling feature, being potential big-time competition for the likes of Skype, Hangouts and FaceTime, there is speculation that this feature will be taking a phased, invite-only approach, much like voice calling in early 2015.

WhatsApp video calling feature (photo posted at Fonearena)
Google Skype WhatsApp

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