When it comes to using beta versions of software – including apps – you may see some issues with the software, particularly bugs. But that's not all that beta's are used for. They are also used to test out new features. Not just seeing whether users want to use the feature, but also seeing how well the feature works before rolling it out to the masses. That's what WhatsApp did this past week with their beta version of the app. They rolled out video calling in their latest beta, and users were able to use it. But in the latest beta, it appears to be missing. This is beta version 2.16.81, for those that might be curious.
The company already has the ability to make calls within their app. However they are currently limited to just audio calls. We have been seeing evidence that they were testing video calls for quite some time, and saw it roll out last week. Now WhatsApp hasn't said why the feature was pulled, but it more than likely is due to the developers wanting to do some more testing on the feature, or perhaps they found some pretty big bugs that need to be fixed first. We'll likely see it appear again in a future update. Now whether that's a new beta update or the stable version found on the Google Play Store, is another story.
For those that may not have heard of WhatsApp before, it's a very popular messaging service. Particularly popular in emerging markets like Brazil, India, Indonesia, Israel and other countries. WhatsApp is one of the only messaging apps to have hit the 1 billion download mark on Android. Alongside Facebook Messenger – remember Facebook owns WhatsApp. It's a popular messaging service because it's free and allows you to do all sorts of things like sending messages, pictures, audio clips, videos, and even calling people. The service is also available on a slew of platforms – although recently they decided to cut that down a bit. And kill off support for platforms that aren't being actively used. WhatsApp is available on the Google Play Store right now.