WhatsApp brings one-to-one calling to desktop as privacy controversy rages on

Eric Abent - Mar 4, 2021, 9:10am CST
WhatsApp brings one-to-one calling to desktop as privacy controversy rages on

WhatsApp today announced that it’s bringing one-to-one calls to its desktop app. Calling will be available both for voice and video and they’ll be end-to-end encrypted as well. While these calls have been a centerpiece in the WhatsApp mobile app for a long time, the company says that it’s bringing calling to the desktop app to help support the increase in calls that have come with the pandemic.

Beyond that, it seems that WhatsApp figured that people would benefit making video calls on larger screens. “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,” the company wrote in a blog post today.

WhatsApp says that desktop calls can work in either portrait or landscape orientation, and that they’ll appear in a “resizable standalone window.” While this functionality is only going live for one-to-one calls today, WhatsApp says that eventually it’ll expand to include group voice and video calls as well. At that point, these WhatsApp desktop calls could become a better option for those working from home as well.

WhatsApp has come under fire in recent weeks for upcoming changes to its privacy policy. Once those changes are implemented, WhatsApp will begin sharing some user data with Facebook, and while it says that information about personal conversations won’t be shared, data concerning conversations with businesses will be.

Facebook, of course, doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to privacy, so some users are understandably hesitant to keep using WhatsApp after these privacy policy changes go into effect later this year. We’ll see what happens from here, but so far, it appears that Facebook doesn’t intend to walk back these controversial changes.


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