WhatsApp today officially rolled out voice and video calling for its desktop-based app on Windows PC and Mac.
The company previously started testing the feature as part of a beta period with a limited set of desktop users starting in December 2020.
The update comes on the back of claims from WhatsApp that it had observed a significant increase in people calling one another on its mobile platform over the last year.
“Last New Year’s Eve, we broke the record for the most calls ever made in a single day with 1.4 billion voice and video calls,” the company said.
“With so many people still apart from their loved ones, and adjusting to new ways of working, we want conversations on WhatsApp to feel as close to in-person as possible, regardless of where you are in the world or the tech you’re using,” it added.
WhatsApp said that taking and making calls on a bigger screen will make it easier to work with colleagues, see family members more clearly on a bigger canvas, or free up the user’s hands while moving around a room and talking.
How it works
Desktop calling on WhatsApp will at first only support one-to-one calls, with group calls to be added in the future.
Users can click on the Phone or Video icons next to an individual contacts name to place a call.
The call will appear in a resizable standalone window on the screen and is set to be always on top so users don’t lose their chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows.
WhatsApp further claimed that the feature works seamlessly for both portrait and landscape orientation.
Just like on mobile, voice and video calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t hear or see them, the company said.
Desktop calling is supported on the 64-bit version of Windows 10 1903 and later, as well as macOS 10.13 and newer.