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This article was published on February 24, 2014


WhatsApp will add voice calls in Q2 2014 after passing 465 million monthly active users

WhatsApp will add voice calls in Q2 2014 after passing 465 million monthly active users Image by: AFP/Getty Images
Nick Summers
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Nick Summers

Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum today has revealed that voice calling will be added to the cross-platform messaging service during Q2 2014.

While we don’t know which platform it will be landing on first, or exactly how it will be implemented, it signals the first significant evolution of WhatsApp following its $19 billion acquisition by Facebook.

The feature is hardly original though. BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), Line, Skype and many other messaging apps have offered voice calls for some time, although given the size of WhatsApp – it now stands at 330 million daily and 465 million monthly active users, Koum announced today – it’s important for the service to maintain its rapid growth by offering a feature set comparative to its rivals.

WhatsApp is known for its simplicity, however. The app is approachable because it replaces SMS without bolting on too many peripheral, experimental or money-making features. During a panel at Mobile World Congress, Koum said these “core values” would be preserved when voice calling is patched in.

Read Next: Lessons for Facebook: How WhatsApp went from red-hot to passé in Southeast Asia / WhatsApp is hugely popular, but it doesn’t dominate the world quite like you might think

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Image Credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

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