WhatsApp to launch voice call service
Mobile-messaging application WhatsApp will add voice call services to its offering later this year, Reuters reports.
WhatsApp CEO, Jan Koum, made the announcement at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona yesterday, just days after Facebook acquired the company in a $19 billion deal.
The voice calls will be free and WhatsApp expects the service to go live by the second quarter of this year.
Koum hopes the voice services will grow WhatsApp’s existing subscriber base of 450 million to a billion users.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that being part of Facebook would allow WhatsApp to place a higher focus on this subscriber growth.
“I actually think that by itself it is worth more than $19 billion,” Zuckerberg said at MWC yesterday, defending the sum Facebook paid for WhatsApp. “Even just independently, I think it’s a good bet.”
Also on Monday at MWC, WhatsApp also announced a partnership with KPN’s German E-Plus subsidiary – which was acquired by Telefónica Deutschland last year – for the launch of a WhatsApp-branded mobile service in Germany.