Whatsapp is set to introduce video and voice calling to its desktop version next year following a surge in popularity for video-conferencing services.
Currently Whatsapp only allows video and voice calls through its mobile app but a move to desktop calls would put it on par with Zoom and Google Meet.
With over 2bn global users, Whatsapp is primarily used for personal calls but it is unclear whether it will use this new feature to tap into the enterprise space.
The Facebook-owned app has already rolled out the feature to some desktop users on a trial basis ahead of the festive season, according to tech blog WABetaInfo.
Whatsapp will want to replicate the success of Zoom, which has ejoyed unrivalled growth this year as the pandemic forced millions to work and socialise from home.
Shares in the company rose from $70 in February to more than $560 over the last nine months. Zoom is one of the few companies to see its value rocket during the pandemic as it became synonymous with working from home this year.
The rollout of Whatsapp’s video service on desktop, first reported by Reuters, comes amid a swathe of new features for the app.
Last month it announced a “disappearing messages” function that will delete messages from the app after a week in a bid to ramp up its privacy credentials.
The company said the new feature will help keep chats private and “more like a face-to-face conversation that is not recorded for all time”.