The Facebook Developer Conference kicks off today in San Jose. It is fair to say that Facebook has had a very bad year with scandal after scandal rocking the social media giant. The annual F8 conference then could be a good way for Facebook to divert eyes away from its shady past and towards its future.
In truth, however, this year’s Facebook Developer Conference doesn’t seem likely to include a headline-grabbing announcement that could distract the masses. There’ll likely be talks on AI, as well as privacy and encryption. There’ll also likely be news on an Oculus update and new takes on augmented reality, and we’ll likely see something about what Facebook is doing with blockchain. Nothing too exciting, though.
What we’re hoping for, however, is nothing to do with Facebook itself, but rather Facebook-owned WhatsApp. What we’d most like to hear at F8 this year is confirmation of some of the many WhatsApp updates we’ve seen added to the WhatsApp beta over the last weeks and months. These include a new dark mode, improved security features, stickers 2.0, and a vacation mode. On top of these, however, we’d love to hear about another feature we’ve only just learned has been added to the beta.
WhatsApp is working on adding calls to WhatsApp Web
The new calls feature for WhatsApp Web is still in the very early stages of development, but a few screenshots of the feature in action have been leaked onto the internet thanks to WABetaInfo. These are only images of the voice call feature, however, as the video call feature for WhatsApp Web is still in the alpha development stage.
The calls feature on WhatsApp Web will be activated by clicking the settings menu icon found in the top-right of any chats screen. You’ll simply open the chat of the contact you want to call, click the icon in the top-right, and then hit voice call. It is a safe assumption that once it moves further along the development path the video call feature will also be found here.
This feature is still a long way off from a general roll-out, however, as the screenshots show. Even the voice call feature is incomplete as WhatsApp still has work to do before it can release a full version to the beta community.
Even though the new calls feature is still a way off from completion, there is still a chance it might come up at the Facebook Developer Conference. Should we hear anything from the conference on calls or any of the other WhatsApp features we’ve reported on over the last few months, we’ll make sure you hear about it first.