WhatsApp to offer voice calls after Facebook acquisition
Planned for release in April
On Monday, as part of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum stated that the free text-based messaging service — which was bought for $19 billion by Facebook Inc last week — would begin offering voice calls by its second quarter, increasing its appeal and gaining a billion users.
The purchase of WhatsApp has now solidified Facebook's participation in the messaging world and with the addition new voice services the social network will branch out into another core element of smartphone functions today.
Koum also pointed out that the would voice product would "focus on simplicity" also adding,"We at WhatsApp want to get out of the way and let people communicate."
It's a move that will threaten telecom operators such as KakaoTalk, China's WeChat and Viber, taking away customers from their already declining market.