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WhatsApp reportedly testing a video call feature

The Verge logo The Verge 16/5/2016 Tom Warren
© Provided by The Verge

WhatsApp appears to be testing a new video calling feature for its popular messaging app. Fonearena reports that the latest beta app for Android includes video calling options for some users. While WhatsApp users have been able to place audio calls for more than a year now, a video calling option would be an even bigger threat to services like Skype, FaceTime, Hangouts, and Facebook Messenger. WhatsApp currently has more than 1 billion users.

It appears the feature can be enabled or disabled on WhatsApp's servers, so the company can trial it with groups of testers. WhatsApp gradually introduced voice calling to Android users last year, with select users gaining access to the option in the weeks leading up to a broader launch. WhatsApp hasn't commented on any video calling plans yet, but it's possible the company may roll out this test feature in a similar way to the voice calling option. WhatsApp is also reportedly testing sending group invites through QR codes, links, and NFC tags.

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