WhatsApp will add voice calling functionality to its instant messaging service by Q2 2014.
Jan Koum, WhatsApp founder and CEO has announced during MWC 2014 that voice calling will be added to the service within the next quarter.
Initially the voice calling will be added to Android and iOS devices, with BlackBerry and Windows Phone to receive the update at a later date.
“We’re adding voice to WhatsApp so people can stay in touch with friends and loved ones no matter where they are in the world”, explained Koum.
Koum explained that adding voice is just the next step in WhatsApp’s evolution and simply furthers its ambition to connect users.
WhatsApp’s voice service claims to bring the speed and efficiency of text messaging into voice calls and claims to offer a better service than rivals like BlackBerry’s BBM.
“We use the least amount of bandwidth out there, and have optimised the hell out of it. We’ve made sure the quality is there though, just like the messaging functions of WhatsApp. We’re focusing on simplicity.”
The company highlighted that WhatsApp has over 465 million monthly active users and 330 million daily users, which has increased by 15 million since the Facebook sale news broke last week.
“We couldn’t be more humbled by our growth,” said Koum, also revealing that today, February 24, is WhatsApp’s 5th birthday.
Despite the Facebook buyout, Koum reiterated that nothing will change dramatically for WhatsApp users.
“There are no planned changes and we will continue to do what we set out to do, even after the acquisition closes. Still no marketing.”