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WhatsApp, Used By Over One Billion People, Gets Video Calling Feature ( 56

After disrupting how people text in many regions of the world, and changing how people make voice calls, Facebook-owned instant app WhatsApp today announced it is bringing "fully encrypted" video calling feature. From a report on Engadget: Now, the Facebook-owned company is ready to unleash video calls on everybody and in the coming days will roll out the feature to iOS, Android and Windows devices. When the feature is activated, open a chat and select the phone icon. You'll then be given an option to place a voice or video call. When we tested the feature, we found that voice and video quality was excellent over strong WiFi, but your mileage may vary if you're connecting via a mobile or slower broadband connection. While Facebook Messenger users have enjoyed voice calls for over a year and a half, many popular messaging apps like still don't offer the feature. With over one billion users, WhatsApp's video calls can connect people all over the world, regardless of their choice of mobile operating system, allowing it stay ahead of apps like Google's Allo.Though video calling feature has existed on apps such as Skype for years, what gives WhatsApp an advantage is its sheer user base. In comparison to Skype, which has about 300 million active users, WhatsApp has over one billion.
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WhatsApp, Used By Over One Billion People, Gets Video Calling Feature

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  • I honestly dont know how people can trust that they are doing the right thing without knowing about the design....

    They use a modified SIP communications for Audio is it the same for video ?

    knowing the codec would be good ?

    the problem is that is it point to point or simply proxied through their servers ?

    anyone know ?


    John Jones

  • This could hardly make it easier. Expect automatic tagging every time someone, friend or not, posts your picture

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @11:14AM (#53289171) Journal
      "Optic Nerve: millions of Yahoo webcam images intercepted by GCHQ" (28 Feb 2014) []
      The govs have been at that for years. They like users to be facing the camera with their face upright for best collection results.
      Lets hope that fully encrypted part is deep at the OS level on both ends :)
      • Lets hope that fully encrypted part is deep at the OS level on both ends :)

        Heh, yeah, well, we are talking about facebook here. We all know better than to believe they'll put up much resistance against a subpoena, or even a 'request'.

  • As an Android user, I'll be interested to see if this is better than Skype for video calls. I have found Facetime to work way better than Skype over the same connections; Skype is sometimes so crappy that I'll borrow an iDevice instead.

  • Congratulations, you just invented Skype.

    • Except that a phone# is not essential for Skype - just an email address is adequate. Not the same w/ WhatsApp, which uses your phone# to uniquely id you
      • by Anonymous Coward

        OTOH, Skype communication isn't encrypted, whereas Whatsapp is.

        • Technically Skype was supposed to use RC4
          (which is completely crappy so it doesn't work).

          In practice, Skype specially since the Microsoft buyout isn't opposing 3rd party clients.
          (e.g.: there's a 100% opensource Purple/Pidgin/Adium plugin that relies on the interface and works on Linux)
          (And in practice Skype heading toward the direction of packaged webapps anyway. Just don't mind the current incompatibility between microsoft's ORTC and the rest of the universe' WebRTC)

          Which means you could use an e

      • so they just invented a crappy Skype.

  • ...Facebook-owned instant app WhatsApp today announced...

    An instant app, eh? So they love agile over at Facebook I take it.

  • >"announced it is bringing "fully encrypted" video calling feature. "

    Fully encrypted? So it is end-to-end/user-to-user without any server interception? With a closed-source app, how do we know it has no backdoors, no logging, no intentionally weakened keys, no overrides, no stored keys, etc? Just asking....

"Old age and treachery will beat youth and skill every time." -- a coffee cup