It’s as easy as you might imagine: pull up a contact in the app, tap the call button and choose ‘Video call’. If the other person has a version of WhatsApp that supports the feature, it’ll launch a FaceTime-like call; if not, you’ll be notified that your contact needs to update their app.
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The feature was first spotted by Android Police, which reported that video calling had become available on WhatsApp’s recent beta builds for some users. I tried installing version 2.16.318 (451462) on a couple of different Android phones and found it to work just fine.
Call quality was fine, but I noticed a bit of lag even on a 50Mbps Wi-Fi network. Of course, WhatsApp is likely to address that; it asked for quality feedback on video calls, so hopefully it’ll take that into account before making the feature available on stable builds.
For that matter, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been steadily improving its product in the past few months, adding features like user tags in group chats, the ability to draw and add stickers to images a la Snapchat and support for placing calls and composing messages with Siri on iOS devices. It’s even testing a public chat feature that could become available in the near future.
Itching to try video calling on WhatsApp? Grab the latest build for Android from APKMirror and give it a go.