Hello! WhatsApp is rolling out video calls on its Android app

Prefer video calls over voice? Is WhatsApp your favorite way to keep in touch? Then we've got good news for you.

The billion-user chat app is pushing video calls live in its Android app, as spotted by Android Police

There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the roll out - some users are getting it in recent beta versions while others aren't. Updating the app doesn't manifest the video chat function, and if the person on the other end doesn't have it enabled, they'll just see a voice call. 

Users who do have video chats will see the video UI, Android Police says, and the call will be logged as a video call. When video calling comes to you, you'll see the option to either do a voice or video call when you select the call button or a contact card. 

Though not a full-fledged release (you can get it by updating to the latest 2.16.318 beta, available on APK Mirror, notes Engadget ), video calling is a major addition to the WhatsApp feature set, bringing it more closely in line with the likes of Skype, Facebook Messenger and FaceTime. 

We asked WhatsApp about the video calling roll out and what the timeline to bring it to all users looks like, and we're told the company doesn't comment on future product plans. 

There's a good chance this will be a slow release, so while WhatsApp looks like it's making a big play to compete with other chat services, it's not all in yet. 

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.