The highly popular messaging app WhatsApp will soon be adding the ability for users to place voice calls using its platform, according to an announcement from CEO Jan Koum. As reported by TechCrunch, Koum announced at the 2014 Mobile World Congress that his company would be rolling out voice calls through the WhatsApp app, placed over a data connection, in Q2 of this year. The voice call capacity will first come to Android and iOS devices, and latterly to Nokia and Blackberry devices.
WhatsApp has 465 million users and was recently acquired by Facebook in a deal worth around $19 billion. The ability to place voice calls over a data connection using limited bandwidth is a massive follow-up from from the data messaging service that the foundations of WhatsApp are built upon. In terms of progression, it would be no surprise if, in a year or so, WhatsApp continues to evolve to offer video chatting, thus taking on Skype and FaceTime.
The WhatsApp app itself is available from the iOS App Store free of charge and offers all services free for a year, followed by a nominal $0.99 per year usage charge.