It’s only been days since Facebook’s major buyout of WhatsApp, and the popular messaging application is already set to improve in a big way. The software will soon receive voice call functionality, as announced by WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum at the company’s Mobile World Congress keynote. The update will roll out sometime soon for iOS and Android, with a BlackBerry and Windows Phone patch to follow.
Details are scarce on how WhatsApp voice calls will work, but its safe to assume that the app will integrate your existing contacts and Facebook friends much like it does for text messages. This news comes on the heels of the app experiencing service issues, that prevented some users from accessing the app.
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At the keynote, Koum noted that having limited phone access in Russia inspired the idea to add voice calls to his app.
“We had a telephone line, but a load of our neighbors didn’t. It became a shared resource for the whole apartment complex,” said Koum.
Originally launching in 2009, WhatsApp is a free messaging service that allows users to text over 3G or Wi-Fi. Available across most mobile operating systems, the application has grown popular for its cost-free international texting and ease of sending pictures and videos.
Despite the fact that Facebook just bought WhatsApp for $19 billion dollars, Koum said that his plans for the company haven’t changed. The CEO noted that WhatsApp will continue to operate as its own team, and that the messaging app will remain ad-free for the foreseeable future.
Source: The Guardian