In 2020, I doubt anyone expected video calling apps to be the most abundant and necessary resource for society to grapple with. Despite a decade long headstart, Skype lost out to relative newcomer Zoom, Microsoft Teams continued to quietly support its user base and even WhatsApp started expanding the functionality of its video call system… for mobile at least. It seems that Facebook has figured out that while mobile video calls are casual enough for friends and family to catch up, it’s missing out on a huge swathe of the market: Formal business interactions. Hence why the rumour that WhatsApp is looking at introducing video calling on the desktop version of the app is so titillating.
Which seems strange, right? One would think the desktop version of the app would already have such functionality but apparently not. As with all WhatsApp related rumours, this comes from WABetaInfo which has stated that test builds of the WhatsApp Desktop app indicates that the feature is currently being tested. The video call function reportedly supports both group and individual video calls with contacts on your chat list, exactly like the mobile version.
Wait, couldn’t you already do this on WhatsApp Desktop?
Now some nitpickers might argue that it’s technically possible to already make video calls using WhatsApp Desktop but that’s more of a workaround process. In order to do so, you need to use a shortcut implemented by Facebook that essentially connects WhatsApp to Facebook Messenger Rooms which will then allow users to start a video call. This update would make the process run entirely on WhatsApp’s own infrastructure.
When this update will eventually roll out is anyone’s guess but considering it’s only available in test builds of the app, one has to imagine that it’s still quite a while away. We’ll keep you in the loop when we find out more.