Whatsapp Live

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Amidst plans to roll out the much talked-about free voice calling feature to iPhones, WhatsApp is reported to be parallelly working on introducing video calls on its immensely popular instant messaging app.
The plans to bring video calling to WhatsApp are still in its closed alpha stage and it is being tested within a closed group of employees and the company is expected to roll out a beta version in the next few months, said a DFA report citing an unnamed WhatsApp source.
“While there is no dearth of IM apps with video calling, what would make the WhatsApp feature stand out is its ability to double as a live streaming service”, the source said.
This comes close on the heels of Meerkat and Periscope which are creating quite a buzz with their live-streaming abilities.
With the addition of video calling, WhatsApp will not only take on the likes of Skype, FaceTime and Hangouts, but will also compete with the recently introduced video-streaming apps that are yet to make a niche for themselves.
The live streaming feature is also WhatsApp’s first step at opening up to news organisations. Many news outlets have been using WhatsApp as a communication tool but have been restricted by the limited features that WhatsApp includes for one-to-many communication.
WhatsApp Live will make use of a new compression technology that the company has developed that will enable high quality video transmission even on poor Internet speeds. The live streams can also be embedded on to websites via WhatsApp Web.
While the DFA source didn’t share an exact rollout roadmap of the yet-to-be-officially-announced feature, he said that similar to the voice-calling feature, it would first make its way to Android before an iOS launch.
Sharing details behind the delay in making voice calling available to WhatsApp for iOS users, the source said that it was because of an apparent conflict with Apple’s terms for its App Store and the process to convince the Cupertino giant that the new additions to WhatsApp were in tune with Apple’s tems had been pushing forward the release date. The source, however, assured that an agreement has been reached and the iOS rollout of the WhatsApp Calling should be expected soon.
About the upcoming Video Calling feature, the DFA quoting its source says that the company “aims to make the experience even more personalised and private.”
In line with the WhatsApp Calling rollout, WhatsApp Video will be first made available to select Android users. A small base of early adopters would be chosen for beta testing based on when they had got the voice calling feature activated on their phones. It would later become available on invite-only basis – much like the voice calling feature, followed by open availability for all.
The interface, however, will remain more or less the same except for some additional icons. Every contact under the Calls tab will have two icons against it – one symbolising call and the other video. Also, an additional icon will be shown on tapping the video icon to allow the user to switch on the live streaming mode.
WhatsApp video for Android is expected the be available with version 4.01.15 and the APK installation file for the new build (with video call support) will first be available on the company’s official site, before making its way to Google Play Store.
What adds weight to the leaked details around the upcoming video call feature is the company’s first-of-its-kind teaser page wherein it is asking users to register to become an early user of “something revolutionary.” Amidst plans to roll out the much talked-about free voice calling feature to iPhones, WhatsApp is reported to be parallelly working on introducing video calls on its immensely popular instant messaging app.