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WhatsApp video calls are coming, but here's what you do in the meantime

Update: Video calling is now available in beta

When WhatsApp finally got a voice calling feature last year it left us with just one question: when do we get video? There have been plenty of hints at its impending arrival and now the feature has shown up in the beta version of the Android app. With Facebook in the driver's seat, it’s a matter of when, not if, WhatsApp video calling is coming. Here’s what we know about how to make WhatsApp video calls.

AndroidPIT preset horizontal nexus 5 Whatsapp
WhatsApp video calling is coming soon. / © ANDROIDPIT

Latest news

The WhatsApp video calling feature isn't in the main build yet, but it has finally shown up in the beta version as an actual working feature. Previously, the options existed but couldn't actually be used, which was extra frustrating. 

Both users need to have video calling options present for it to work. / © AndroidPIT

How to make WhatsApp video calls

Making a video call is just like making an audio call: open a chat with the person you want to contact and then select the Video Call option. The other person, for now, will also need the beta version of the app installed, else you'll just get an error message.

In order to send video to somebody in WhatsApp, you use the same procedure you’d use to send a photo, an audio clip, your location or somebody’s contact details.

Open a chat with the person you want to send the video, tap the attachment button at the top of the screen (it’s the one that looks like a paperclip) and then tap on the kind of thing you want to send, so, in this case, you’d tap video. You can add a caption if you like, and then you can send the clip by tapping on the send button in the preview.

WhatsApp Messenger Install on Google Play

You can also forward a video sent to you by somebody else. To do that, tap and hold on the message(s) you’d like to forward, tap the forward arrow icon, and choose a conversation to forward the message to. Don’t worry about data use here: while the forwarded message(s) will appear to have come from you, you don’t have to upload the message or messages again. WhatsApp takes care of that.

How making WhatsApp video calls will probably work

WhatsApp might not have video calls yet, but many rivals do – and you can get a good idea of how WhatsApp video calling should work by checking out alternative apps such as the excellent Viber, which is one of the best instant messenger apps for Android.

In the case of Viber, making a video call means making a voice call first. Select your contact, tap the Free Call button, and wait for the call to connect. Once it connects, you’ll need to tap the Video Call button to move into video calling mode, and the person you’re calling needs to activate it too or you won’t be able to see him, her or them.

You can do the same thing in Skype for Android – there’s a button you can use to turn the video on or off during a call – but unlike Viber you don’t need to initiate a voice call first if you don’t want to. All you need to do is sign in, tap the contact you want to video call and then tap on the video call.

whatsapp messenger closeup teaser
Voice calling is available to everybody but video is still beta users only / © ANDROIDPIT

What if you don’t want to receive or make WhatsApp video calls?

Once again, Skype shows how it’ll probably work: in its Settings card under Voice and Video Calls you can choose between the following options:

  • Receive calls from: choose who you receive Skype video calls from. You can use this option to stop unwanted video calls from unknown people.
  • Answer calls automatically: select this option if you want incoming voice and video calls to be answered automatically.
  • Enable video calling: on most devices, video calling is enabled by default.
  • Technical info: select this option if you want to see technical information about your call.
  • Video quality: choose your video call quality. The higher the quality, the more data a video call will use.

That all seems pretty sensible to us, and it’d be good if WhatsApp introduced something similar. The app is almost certainly heading in that direction anyway, because now that Facebook owns it, it’s likely to get more Facebook-y and make more use of your Facebook network as well as your WhatsApp contact list.

AndroidPIT WhatsApp alternatives
Android messaging is very competitive, and video calling's a key feature for some WhatsApp rivals. / © ANDROIDPIT

Are you praying for the day WhatsApp introduces video calling, or would you rather keep your contacts out of the picture? Let us know in the comments.


Write new comment:
  • WhatsApp Introducing New Camera

  • Nope. You are wrong. Especially for Hangouts. Concerning the quality of the audio and video streaming Skype and Hangouts are one of the best if not the best.

  • Alex R. 5 months ago Link to comment

    they are already been released in the latest beta version of the app which can be downloaded in apk mirror website.

  • The pictures saved for each chat group are not identified by group, they are just all thrown into one folder and named sequentially. We need to be able to sort all media by group. Is there a way to do this?

  • Unfortunately WhatsApp calling feature is not working in several destinations. I have tried several apps and one of the top apps I recommend is BlaBla Connect with Calls, MiniCalls, Chatting and topup & balance transfer services

  • Alex R. 5 months ago Link to comment

    The interface looks slightly like messenger and yes Mark Zuckerberg bought it so!

  • Come Quick:)

  • Video Call is a "nice to have" feature but WA misses features that would be greater in a day to day basic use, for example the ability to store medias on a SD instead of the phone memory (and now that WA can send files this requirement becomes more important).....

    • Alex R. 5 months ago Link to comment

      send your WhatsApp App to SD card in the Apps section then the media will be stored to SD card as whatsapp is mainly installed in internal memory ,the data is also stored in internal memory!!Hope that helps :)

  • alexander 5 months ago Link to comment

    i Have line for that and its way better then All that fb crap

  • Bo Mathis 8 months ago Link to comment

    I am a Google fanboy, but Hangout calls have been lackluster. So far, I'm impressed with Whatsapp and there is room for improvement. For example, it's far too easy to accidentally call someone. I'd like to see an option that either confirms your desire to call or a slight delay (again, an option I can select).

    The text boxes simply don't behave well for long messages. The developers need to address this. Otherwise, the speed and features are very good and I look forward to video calling; that will allow me to ditch Skype (they have not kept up with their product, esp texting).

  • storm 9 months ago Link to comment

    I'm not convinced of the value of visual calls for most purposes. Much less efficient for my needs.

  • Knut H 9 months ago Link to comment

    Microsoft id driving Skype through the ground, it was a very good piece of software, miles better than Whatsapp - but MS has not mucked around the video yet, so this still works fine. Whatsapp cannot deal with multiple devices, just your one mobile. Whatsapp need a lot of work on network stability and low-level things, where Skype have plunged years of research, but they will try and will get it.

  • Google Hangouts is also a great candidate!

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