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WhatsApp announces voice and video calls for desktop app

WhatsApp launched private and secure one-to-one voice and video calls for its desktop app on Thursday. The Facebook-owned messaging platform said that the announcement is a result of WhatsApp experiencing a significant increase in people calling one another on the mobile-first app and for long conversations.


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In a blog post WhatApp revealed:

“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. 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.”

The voice and video calls will be end-to-end encrypted to make sure that the platform cannot hear or see them. Additionally, WhatsApp announced that it will be expanding the feature and rolling out group voice and video calls in the future.

The voice and video calls will be available for both portrait and landscape orientation in a resizable standalone window on the computer screen. The calls are set to be always on top so that users never lose their video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows.

“Answering on a bigger screen makes it easier to work with colleagues, see your family more clearly on a bigger canvas, or free up your hands to move around a room while talking,” the blog post read.

India houses over 340 million WhatsApp users, making it the leading country in terms of WhatsApp audience size.

Earlier last month, WhatsApp had announced that it will display a banner on the app to provide users with more information on its privacy policy and terms of use updates, which had drawn criticism over concerns on data sharing with its parent company Facebook.

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