WHATSAPP has updated its desktop app so users can make voice and video calls via their computer.
The feature is compatible with Windows and macOS.
The WhatsApp video call feature is avaliable on Mac or Windows PCsCredit: WhatsApp
WhatsApp revealed the feature in a recent blogpost.
It said: “We’re excited to announce that private and secure one-to-one voice and video calls are now available on WhatsApp’s desktop app.
“Answering on a bigger screen makes it easier to work with colleagues, see your family more clearly on a bigger canvas, or free up your hands to move around a room while talking.
“To make desktop calling more useful, we made sure it works seamlessly for both portrait and landscape orientation, appears in a resizable standalone window on your computer screen, and is set to be always on top so you never lose your video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows.
It’s easy to move your WhatsApp chat to a laptopCredit: Alamy
“Voice and video calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t hear or see them, whether you call from your phone or your computer.”
Only one-to-one voice and video calls are currently avaliable.
WhatsApp is hoping to expand the feature to include group chats.
For now group WhatsApp voice and video calls will need to take place between two smartphones.
This is unlikely to be useful for work colleagues who need their calls to include a big team.
You can try out the feature right now on a Mac or Windows PC.
How to make a WhatsApp voice or video call on your computer
You’ll need to make sure you’re using an updated version of MacOS or Windows software.
You’ll also need to make sure your computer or laptop has a microphone and camera that are enabled.
Go to the WhatsApp.com/download and then click to download the desktop app for your Mac or Windows PC.
Then download the desktop app and open it when it’s ready.
You’ll be asked to scan a QR code which you can bring up on your phone if you go to your WhatsApp settings and click “WhatsApp Web”.
Your WhatsApp chats should load on your computer screen.
Click the chat of the person you’d like to voice or video call with.
Then choose between the voice or video call icon.
Please note that the video call option won’t work if you don’t have a camera.
WhatsApp – a quick history
Here’s what you need to know…
- WhatsApp was created in 2009 by computer programmers Brian Acton and Jan Koum – former employees of Yahoo
- It’s one of the most popular messaging services in the world
- Koum came up with the name WhatsApp because it sounded like “what’s up”
- After a number of tweaks the app was released with a messaging component in June 2009, with 250,000 active users
- It was originally free but switched to a paid service to avoid growing too fast. Then in 2016, it became free again for all users
- Facebook bought WhatsApp Inc in February 2014 for $19.3billion (£14.64bn)
- The app is particularly popular because all messages are encrypted during transit, shutting out snoopers
- As of 2020, WhatsApp has over 2billion users globally
In other news, WhatsApp is reportedly working on a self-destructing photos feature in a move that could make it similar to Snapchat.
Twitter has launched paid subscriptions that let you charge followers to see your “exclusive” posts.
And, WhatsApp is having another go at getting all users to accept controversial new privacy terms.
How often do you use WhatsApp? Let us know in the comments…
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