WhatsApp launched voice calling feature early this year since then expectations have been high on a possible introduction of video calling feature that naturally would be the next big step.
However, the recent updates on the app have mostly been about fixing bugs and stabilizing the system. Just after Christmas, a German website Macerkopf revived the eagerness with a release of screenshots of what is apparently the beta version of the WhatsApp iOS app. The version is still under internal testing and has not been released to the public, but the images already confirm. Indeed, video calling feature is under development.
Multi-tab user interface
The new version is also rumored to include a multi-tab user interface. Evidently, this new inclusion is set to scale the app slightly above its competitors, Viber, and Hangouts, already using a similar feature. Multiple chat tabs would allow users to navigate between several tabs without necessarily going back to the main chat screen. The new feature as well is expected to boost convenience and make the app more user-friendly.
New WhatsApp features set to test Skype’s dominance in video calling market
WhatsApp is destined to prosper in this new platform as the giant messaging app already boosts 900 million monthly active users, coming second after its parent company Facebook regarding popularity. Secondly, the company receives support from Facebook, which currently owns it. WhatsApp started as a small text messaging app in 2009. Social media powerhouse Facebook acquired the app for $22 billion back in 2014 and since then the app has thrived under the new management.
Microsoft’s Skype dominance in video calling market is soon coming under trial with WhatsApp expected to be in the direct competition after officially launching video calling feature. WhatsApp management has not yet confirmed the official releasing date, but it’s rumored the feature will be assimilated by January 2016. Apart from Skype, WhatsApp will as well compete other video calling platforms, Apple’s FaceTime, Viber and Facebook Messenger. It will be interesting to see how WhatsApp regulates data consumption. Otherwise, optimization of the feature for slower networks will be vital to capture regions like India where the messaging app is popular, but the conversation is hard over slower networks even 3G.