We’ve been waiting for WhatsApp to offer video calling since the feature first leaked out last December — and now the wait is finally over.
The app’s latest update, which is available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, lets you video chat with other WhatsApp users for free.
“We’re introducing this feature because we know that sometimes voice and text just aren’t enough,” said WhatsApp. “There’s no substitute for watching your grandchild take her first steps, or seeing your daughter’s face while she’s studying abroad.”
[contextly_auto_sidebar] There are plenty of other video calling services, but with more than 1 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is already one of the biggest. If you already have friends who use the service, you can chat face-to-face without persuading them to install another app.
And unlike FaceTime, WhatsApp works across different platforms, so it doesn’t matter if you’re friends are using a different smartphone. Video calling is available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone — and they’re all getting the update today.
The feature might look basic for now, The Verge warns, but Manpreet Singh, WhatsApp’s lead mobile engineer, promises it will evolve. “We will try to be the best video calling platform out there,” he added.