The WhatsApp beta for Android update (v2.16.80) via the Google Play beta testing program displays the video calling feature, however, it isn't functional yet. To recall, the Facebook-owned messaging service had rolled out voice calling a phased manner, initially using an invite-based system before more broadly rolling it out across smartphone platforms. We wonder how the company plans to implement the service this time.
In its non-functional form, the WhatsApp interface sees no major difference with the introduction of the video calling feature. It is accessible via the call button within a conversation, with the user being shown the choice of audio call or video call.
(Also see: WhatsApp Web Now Supports Document Sharing)
If you try to place a video call, you are greeted with a message saying "Couldn't place call. Video Calling is unavailable at this time." We received the same message even when both the caller and your intended receiver are using v2.16.80 of the WhatsApp beta for Android. The version can also be sideloaded via APK Mirror.
Rumours about the rollout of WhatsApp Video Calling had increased in the recent past, with one of the most recent showing the exact same "Couldn't place call" screen we see now from a leaked WhatsApp translation request.
WhatsApp has been slowly but steadily expanding its feature set for users, with several updates in the recent past bringing features like end-to-end encryption, document sharing, text formatting, and more. It is currently anticipated to soon bring voicemail, call back, and zip file sharing support. The messaging service this week also released its first desktop apps, making WhatsApp available for Windows and OS X users in non-browser form.