WhatsApp have just launched video calling: here are the five golden rules

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  • Now that everyone's going to be asking you to video chat, don't forget the commandments of the video call.

    First, WhatsApp group chats took over our lives. (There’s basically a group chat for everything from Friday night plans to that appreciation group for The O.C/The 90s/sample sales/celebrity WhatsApp groups we wish existed.) Then, voice memoing made us send everyone monologues of our life stories (ideal for transatlantic friendships). And don’t even get us started on work procrastination enabler WhatsApp web. But, anyway, now, video calls are coming back into fashion thanks to a new launch from the messaging app.

    When FaceTime first launched six years ago, we video called anyone who owned an iPhone and would answer, and now that we can WhatsApp equivalent to anyone with a mobile phone, regardless of whether its an Samsung, Google, or whatever, the possibilities are endless.

    But lest us forget the commandments of the video chat…

    Schedule your video calls in advance

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    Give people ample warning because there’s nothing worse than when you see your beau or friend who always looks immaculate trying to video call you while you’re in a tracksuit sporting yesterday’s make-up and eating takeaway.

    Don’t show someone on camera who might not want to be there

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    Remember the days of when someone would try and spring a phone conversation on you and you’d just be there gesturing that you didn’t want to talk to them? Well, with camera calls, it’s pretty much impossible so don’t put someone unnecessarily in that position.

    Explain what it is to a parent/grandparent/techphobe

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    Make sure your recipient know what they’re doing to avoid any confusion, because otherwise you’ll probably only be able to see the inside of your caller’s ear canals.

    Find somewhere to prop your phone

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    Unless you’re actively showing us around your new house etc, we’d rather just look at you and not get motion sickness, please, so lean your phone somewhere. We’d recommend somewhere slightly higher-up so the camera looks down on you for a more flattering angle, and make sure your background isn’t too busy. Calling from a public place (despite the really fast free wifi) is usually not a great idea, either.

    Be camera-ready

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    Have a look at yourself in your selfie-camera first because you want to be aware of what you look like before you start your conversation, otherwise you’ll spend the whole time being distracted by your own face which doesn’t make for a good chat.

    Now, go forth and video chat to your heart’s content.

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