Soon you will be able to make voice calls through WhatsApp

WhatsApp will soon be introducing free voice calls over the app for Android and iOS users, while BlackBerry and Windows Phone will be supported later.

Jan Koum, WhatsApp's co-founder and chief executive, has revealed that the company will soon be launching voice calling capabilities on all of its apps starting with Android and iOS in the second quarter. Jan has been known to support ad-free software and believes in easy communication, which was the primary reason behind the launch of WhatsApp. In an interview with The Guardian, Jan spoke about his childhood in Russia, where neighbours used to share telephone lines and the inconveniences associated with it. To make calling simpler and free, for users across borders, voice calling is Jan's next target.

Speaking about the technology behind voice calls in WhatsApp, Jan said, "We use the least amount of bandwidth out there, and have optimised the hell out of it. We’ve made sure the quality is there, though, just like the messaging functions of WhatsApp."

WhatsApp was recently acquired by Facebook for $19 billion and the new feature will make it a competitor to Skype which already supports calling for Facebook users.

Source: The Guardian | Image via iMore

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22 Comments

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Yeah, I was going to move away from WhatsApp next month anyway. Once Facebook bought it, I moved straight to Telegram - So much better!

Considering how fragile the WhatsApp servers are, this will take some time and money to get right. I see Ads in WhatsApp's feature.

This is already achievable through the Facebook app? And it wouldn't surprise me if they'd possibly taken aspects / inspiration [code] from that with the new acquisition.

I don't get it. Skype is one of the top 10 apps on every single mobile platform, it's also on Facebook, it's on Mac/PC/iPad, not to mention tons of consumer electronic devices. And Skype calling is already free. So who the hell needs another one of these things that is on far fewer platforms?

Is there some kind of underground group that refuses to use Skype so they need this thing?

Welcome to competition. How things work. Do you really want to drive Ford vehicles and have no other options?

Apps start on a few platforms and expand when they get more popular. More competition makes others up their game and offer better/unique features.

I'm hoping for better utilization of bandwidth? 3g isn't as prevalent as you'd think and still expensive. Plus WhatsApp is light, hopefully it'll stay lite.

I dislike Skype and have had tons of problems with it. I haven't even installed it since the last time I set up my phone. The same for many people around me with multiple devices with Skype installed.

I use FaceTime (audio only) to other Apple devices because it works very well and that's about it. Another competitive product is great for me actually, FaceTime is Apple only so I can't call everyone of my contacts.

Google Hangouts + Google Voice solved a lot of people's problem with phone calling. Especially through Google Chrome.

That's awesome. I've been waiting for this feature a long time, even though my 2g network sucks donkey .... ! Too bad WP will get it later. With their user base this should make it one killer app.

Wall-swe said,
you've been waiting for Skype?
Unfortunately, Skype mobile app is a piece of crap on all platforms. Sync issues, battery drain, connectivity loss, no push updates - that's everything said about it. Until MS changes these issues it will still stay behind WhatsApp/Viber/etc,

Wall-swe said,
you've been waiting for Skype?

yeah because skype is awesome to call people on a 10kBps connection. plus not everyone uses skype.

Wall-swe said,
you've been waiting for Skype?

Skype definately needs competition. The UI is getting worse every new version.

Wall-swe said,
you've been waiting for Skype?

Skype is getting worse with every update, it seems like it takes forever just to load in my iPhone, and the interface it's just terrible, first versions used to work fine, FaceTime and other messaging apps like LINE are working fine for VoIP calls now.

And it would be nice that Whatsapp also added more security to the messages and future voice calls, like strong encryption and self destruct messages a la Snapchat.

Wall-swe said,
You blame Skype? When its ios 7 that's slowing down your phone?
It is also slowing my Android phone and Windows phone, all of them are brand-new flagships. So I guess it is not iOS.