Now that Facebook has paid $19 billion for WhatsApp, what's next for the mobile messaging app? Voice calls, apparently. According to TechCrunch, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced the upcoming feature at Mobile World Congress earlier today. With this new functionality, the app will even more directly compete with the likes of Skype, KakaoTalk, Line, and Viber. Though, without video support, it still won't be an all-encompassing solution just yet.

Voice calls will be different from the voice messaging that WhatsApp already offers. The latter feature essentially functions as an audio text message, not anything remotely resembling a live conversation.


Since people must use the same app to communicate with one another, we can only expect WhatsApp to gain millions more followers going forward. Look for voice calling to roll out in the second quarter of this year.

Via: TechCrunch

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Mskina

    For the sake of Hangouts, let's hope Voice gets integrated soon...

    • d0nt care

      Hangouts sucks, and Voice is US only.

  • Whyzor

    Google Voice needs to step it up.

    • ProductFRED

      After using Voice for a year, I gave up on it and ported my number to T-Mobile. Let's be honest, it's terrible in its current form. No MMS. No notification of MMS, unless the sender is on Sprint. A terrible texting client. It needs to be completely redone. Also the ability to make and receive voice calls from the native dialer over wifi would be nice (a la witi calling) since they're going to disallow third party clients next month.

      • Whyzor

        I may ditch GV also if after the May-ish deadline they imposed on 3rd party apps that use XMPP protocol such as Groove IP. Until then, I still have hope they get Wifi calling into Hangouts (like iOS version did already)

  • TaylorSellers

    Good. I don't use WhatsApp, but this will hopefully pressure Google into integrating Google Voice and voice calling into Hangouts for Android. We've been waiting since October (when the iOS version got it).

  • Christofftofferson

    Needs the ability to message from any device; computer, tablet or phone

    • ProductFRED

      Use Telegram. Works the exact same way but also has a Web interface and it's free. Way better IMO. And online sessions are authenticated via one time key texted to your phone. It also has self destruction P2P (no middleman) chat.

      • My name is….

        All windows clients are alpha or beta.
        Call me again when you have something solid

        • ProductFRED

          It's a Web interface though... There's even a Chrome extension.

          WhatsApp doesn't have anything at all. I'm saying this and I have a WhatsApp lifetime account.

          • My name is….

            I know.
            I just wouldnt install anything beta or unofficial for my communication.

      • aldisiij367

        my uncle recently got a nearly new black
        Volkswagen Touareg SUV by working off of a pc... blog link C­a­s­h­D­u­t­i­e­s­.­ℂ­o­m

      • Dmitri Smirnov

        BS, server is still the middleman and verification happens there, so, whoever controls the server, controls who you chat to.
        Illusion of privacy might be even worse than obvious lack of it.

    • Dario · 753 a.C. .

      so, use telegram!

  • Lang Marong

    This is the main reason why i used Viber. It saved me hundreds of dollars in phone bill. I called family and friends in Africa on Viber. I will use any app that help in that regard. The more the merrier.

  • NERV

    I want the seamless SMS integration like imessage more....

  • Android Developer

    Finally the logo will make some sense... :)

  • john

    use wechat you white american fools

    • Pepe Bona

      Nobody uses wechat outside of Asia. Sorry bro.

      • Wx

        Only in Asia? Damn, so wechat only covers about 4 billion people, eh?

  • MO

    finally the icon will make sense

  • Alphajoe

    I'm rather sceptical in regard to a broader adaption of WhatsApp alternatives. However, in the past 4 days more than 50 of my contacts have joined Threema (end-to-end encrypted messaging through Swiss servers, http://www.threema.ch). That's more than I had in the first months of using WhatsApp and more people are connecting everyday.

    I'm also well aware that Germany is not the world and each region seems to have its own preferences (look at WeChat in Asia). But this time I'm positive, that I finally can get rid of WhatsApp and use more secure services.

  • deltatux

    So how will this differ from BBM Voice?

  • midastouchzuck

    they lost at least 800million off that already - with at least 20 million users flaking off whatsapp. (that's if fb paid $40 per user). I hope more people will leave that network. anything fb touches becomes 'human' gold

  • Dario · 753 a.C. .

    whatsapp has got a lot of users. they're living of that. they don't mind to improve and to add new feature, because everyone use whatsapp cause everyone has it.
    a lot of other app are doing their best adding and introducing a lot of new features, and whatsapp says that they'll introduce voice call only now???????
    this fact is not good for us users.
    i just moved to telegram. i did not leave whatsapp, but i use telegram. i want whatsapp to have a little users decrease, not for bad, but only because it's the only way to make them understand that there are also other clients, not only whatsapp, and if they want us to remain using WA, they have to improve that app!!

    anyway telegram is amazing. everything is encrypted and IT DOES NOT STAY IN RAM!!! but it receives notifications in real time anyway.
    that's really good for all those devices having few RAM

  • Dario · 753 a.C. .

    i just wanna know why telegram receives notifications in real time without going in RAM all the time, while all the other apps such as WA, FB messenger, viber... have to stay in RAM!
    that's one of the thing i like most of telegram

  • RiTCHiE

    Telegram is the next gen whatsapp killer. It sends any file type up to 1GB so you can send them 1080p video's without no problem. something you cant do with whatscrap. And FB = EVIL.

  • What

    This is a new whatsApp
    Called AlooPhone this is the first app get your friends location
    this is trial version be know expected some errors but it will be gone with Constant updates
    this is link on google store : http://bit.ly/1mDO3Oj

  • tetracycloide

    "You know what would be great? If facebook had detailed records of who I called when and for how long."
    -No one. Ever.

  • frafri

    easy, just combine facebook free calling with whatsapp?>?

  • mesmorino

    This feature is the only reason I use Viber. Throw in videocalling and I might even be able to get rid of Tango too.

    • Zimmerman

      all of these apps do pretty much the same thing (messages, video call, etc)

      • mesmorino

        That's like saying "all these cars do pretty much the same thing"

        Of course they do, the point is that some do it better than others- Viber's voice calling is much better than Tango's, WhatsApp's messaging is much better than either of them, and Tango is the only one that does video calling

        • Zimmerman

          Skype does video calling. And if you search the play store for video calling you would find hundreds of apps that does it. Do your homework sucka

          • mesmorino

            Big whoop, it does video calling. Thanks for telling me, it's only been around for almost ten years after all. It's not like I've had a Skype account since before Android ever existed or anything.

            The point, which you seem to have missed, is that none of these apps have the right combination of features meaning I use each in different situations. Skype's problem is that the video quality is often poor, even on wifi. That, and it sometimes crashes at sign in, where none of the other apps require you to even sign in at all.

            Kindly jog on now, "sucka".

          • Zimmerman

            listen sucka, do you know who you are speaking to? I will fart in your oatmeal