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How to make video calls on WhatsApp

·2-min read
Stock photo of the WhatsApp app icon on a smartphone (Nick Ansell/PA) (PA Archive)
Stock photo of the WhatsApp app icon on a smartphone (Nick Ansell/PA) (PA Archive)

WhatsApp is one of the most popular chat platforms across the world. But it also includes a more unexpected feature: a rich video calling experience.

There are two billion people using the service across the world, and one of the few apps that has managed to be downloaded over five billion times.

WhatsApp can be used to send messages, files, GIFs, location information, and make video calls – something that rose significantly in popularity during the height of the coronavirus pandemic when people were forced to remain inside and separate from loved ones.

The messaging giant has introduced a number of new features to its video calling, as well as bringing it to its WhatsApp Web platform alongside its mobile apps. To quickly and easily make video calls on WhastApp, these are all the ways to do it:

To make a video call in the WhatsApp app, open the chat with the contact you want to video call and then hit the video camera button at the top of the screen.

Alternatively, open WhatsApp, then tap the Calls tab, and then new call. Choose the contact you want to video call, then tap the Video call button.

Users can easily switch between a video and a voice call while chatting with someone by hitting the ‘Video off’ button.

On WhatsApp Web, the app for Mac and PC, users will need an active internet connection as well as giving the app access to the computer’s microphone and camera.

Making a call this way is very similar to using the app: open the individual chat with the contact you’d like to call, and then click the Video call icon.

To turn it into a group call, click the ‘add participant’ button after another person answers. Select the contact you want to join, and then hit the ‘add’ button.

People can now add up to 32 people at a time to one voice call on WhatsApp, but only eight people on one video call. The first seven people who answer can join the call, and only group members can participate.

However, be warned: you can be in a video call with someone that you have blocked on WhatsApp, but you can’t add a contact that you’ve blocked to the call or a contact that has blocked you.

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