WhatsApp users can now make voice and video calls from desktop app

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Facebook-owned messaging platform, WhatsApp, will now allow users to make calls from its desktop application, the company announced on Thursday. The feature has been available in the beta version for a while now, but the mass rollout begins today. It will allow users to make or receive calls from the desktop version of WhatsApp, on both Windows and Mac computers.

“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. To make desktop calling more useful, we made sure it works seamlessly for both portrait and landscape orientation, appears in a resizable standalone window on your computer screen, and is set to be always on top so you never lose your video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows,” the company said in its blog post.

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This includes both voice and video calls, and WhatsApp says these will both be end-to-end encrypted even when calls are made from the desktop. WhatsApp won’t be able to hear or see calls, claims the blog post. At the moment though, users will only be able to make one-to-one calls from the WhatsApp desktop application. The company says group video and voice calls will be coming in future.

WhatsApp voice and video calls have seen manifold increase over the past year, thanks to the pandemic enforced lockdowns. According to WhatsApp, the platform broke the record for most calls ever made on a single day on New Year’s Eve last year, with 1.4 billion voice and video calls made from the platform. “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 blog post said.

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