New WhatsApp messenger to introduce video calling, tabbed chats

Popular mobile messaging platform WhatsApp is set to introduce a video calling feature in the very near future.

Photos leaked to a German tech website earlier this week indicate that aside from the video chat feature, a tabbed chat function is also understood to be in the pipeline. The app's developer team has been dropping hints that they were working on new features and had reached the testing stage, however there has been no official confirmation of this feature to date.

The tabbbed conversation feature allows the user to manage multiple chats, in much the same way as the tabbed browsing feature in all modern web browsers. This, together with the video chat function, if implemented, is expected to be be incorporated in the new version of WhatsApp, which will be released in the coming weeks.

Earlier this year, in February, Facebook acquired WhatsApp in a $19bn deal. This latest development is expected to bring the ubiquitous messaging app in direct competition with current dominant market players FaceTime and Skype, but WhatsApp is unlikely to be overly concerned by this - its service is already used by over 450 million users every month.