WhatsApp is reportedly rushing the release of the desktop features that will enable end-to-end encrypted video and voice calls between users.
As the pandemic surges around the world, more and more people are relying on technology for connections. Many companies are relying on video-conferencing and chat tools to keep their businesses going. For families, group video calls and messaging are crucial to keeping relationships alive.
Schools, meanwhile, have completely transformed education, probably for good, as more institutions shift to mixed-forms of learning.
All these factors have heated up the race among tech companies. All of them are racing to be the best provider out there. Despite the numerous competition in the market, WhatsApp is still leading the pack. However, it is a game it stands to lose if it doesn’t innovate.
Competition is heating up
WhatsApp is still the world’s most downloaded and most used messaging app around the world. It has almost 2 billion users across the globe. Unfortunately, unlike its smaller competitors, WhatsApp seems to be a monolithic giant that is stuck in the past.
Other apps are integrating seamless smartphone and desktop usage. WhatsApp’s version, on the other hand, is still clunky and almost featureless. Its desktop version, other than providing end-to-end encryption, still can’t receive nor make video or voice calls.
This is the crux of the Facebook-owned messaging app. Fortunately, the competition really does force innovation. Signal, a similarly-designed app, launched its desktop video and voice call features a couple of weeks ago. It also offers the end-to-end encryption that WhatsApp boasts. However, Signal doesn’t have the critical user mass that WhatsApp has. As such, it is still lightyears away from even eating up WhatsApp’s market share.
📞 WhatsApp Web 2.2043.7: what’s new?
• More details and screenshots for Voice and Video Calls, from WhatsApp Web!
• WhatsApp has also added a "BETA" label, suggesting to offer Calls from WhatsApp Web soon!https://t.co/kkk9Oq5Mqx
NOTE: This feature will be enabled soon.
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) October 19, 2020
WhatsApp video and voice calls finally coming to the desktop?
The Facebook-owned app knows that it has to step up. WABetaInfo shares that it is exactly what the company is doing. The famous WhatsApp info-leaker posted,
“WhatsApp is considering the idea to offer Voice and Video Calls in the next few weeks, even if the development is in a beta-stage.”
The photo accompanying the post includes a WhatsApp desktop interface on a MacOS that has a voice and video call button on the top right portion of the window. It remains to be seen which users will be able to test the features out. Nonetheless, these added features will definitely make WhatsApp more useable on the desktop.
These calls are, of course, expected to support end-to-end encryption. Once these features are launched, WhatsApp can then offer a true multi-device experience for its billions of users around the world.
Image from MORAN/ Unsplash