Earlier this year, if you remember, WhatsApp made an announcement that they were going to add a voice calling feature to the WhatsApp app in the second quarter of this year. Obviously that never came to fruition. WhatsApp has now updated us on the status of the voice calling feature with an announcement from the CEO that let us know about a new release window for the feature, the first quarter of 2015.
As most of you know, Facebook acquired WhatsApp earlier this year for $22 billion, it was a huge and smart purchase. WhatsApp was the only other social app at the time that had more regular users than Facebook did, Facebook saw this as a threat and purchased the service. Jan Koum, the CEO of WhatsApp commented about this at the Code/Mobile conference this week saying that even with this new voice calling feature they are planning to incorporate into WhatsApp, they will not be directly competing with Facebook Messenger. This is the exact opposite of what we thought due to the two services being very similar. Koum’s reasoning for why he does not think the two services are competing is because of the fact that Facebook Messenger is designed to work on both mobile and desktop, while WhatsApp is strictly designed to work on mobile.
If you are wondering why WhatsApp didn’t get voice calling added to their app in time for the original release window, here is why. Jan Koum also commented on this at the Code/Mobile conference saying that the WhatsApp team still has a few technical issues to get past before they are able to get the voice calling feature added to the WhatsApp app. One of the obstacles Koum discussed was that the WhatsApp app does not have access to the microphones on some devices. We can definitely see this being an issue with voice calling. For those of you who use WhatsApp, are you excited to see voice calling get incorporated into the app? Be sure to drop us a comment and let us know your opinion in the comments section below.