MWC 2014: WhatsApp to offer free voice calls to users

Also targeting 2 billion users in the not too distant future

by hodg100 Feb 24, 2014 at 4:32 PM

  • Following on from their proposed $19 billion acquisition by Facebook, WhatsApp announced it is soon to offer free voice calling amongst its 465 million users.
    The launch of the service is scheduled for as early as April 2014, according to Jan Koum, the co-founder and chief executive of WhatsApp, who was speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier today.

    Koum also revealed the extent of the organisation’s ambitions by revealing they are targeting a userbase of one to two billion in the not too distant future.

    The WhatsApp voice feature will, according to Koum, "focus on simplicity," much as they have with their highly successful cross-platform text-based messaging service.
    Optimising the hell out of it all!

    The voice service will apparently release simultaneously on Apple and Android devices, followed by Windows and Blackberry.

    "We want to continue to have that minimalistic approach to the product," he said. "We at WhatsApp want to get out of the way and let people communicate."

    Mr. Koum also stated their desire to keep the voice calling as bandwidth friendly as possible, stating they were attempting to, “optimise the hell out of it.”

    On the Facebook acquisition announcement, Mr. Koum was adamant that the product would not change and that collected user details would remain as minimal as possible, but we guess we’ll see about that.

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