You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

WhatsApp will add voice calling later this year


WhatsApp doesn't want to leave the spotlight just yet.

Following last week's news that Facebook will acquire the company for $19 billion, many asked what's next for WhatsApp.

Well, its CEO Jan Koum announced Monday the messaging app will soon add voice services. The new feature will reportedly launch on Android and iOS in the second quarter. (Via YouTube / DLDConference)

The news broke — slightly ironically — during a Mobile World Congress event, a conference for mobile carriers.

The addition of phone calls to the app brings WhatsApp up to speed with similar services Kakao and Viber.

But perhaps more importantly, voice features allow WhatsApp to potentially challenge traditional cell providers like Verizon.

>> Read more trending stories

Koum reportedly said during the conference: "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." (Via The Guardian)

During his talk, Koum also gave some updated stats.  

It now has a reported 330 million daily users and 465 million active users. That's 15 million more than was reported at the time of the Facebook buy.

And according to The Verge, it's probably going up. "The app has done well by offering inexpensive messaging services where messaging is traditionally quite expensive, and doing the same for phone calls would likely be a boon for growth."

But where is the win for Facebook? It just spent all the money, right?

The New York Times writes, "Analysts say the move also could lead Facebook to revamp its own mobile offerings, which have centered on software called Home that has won few fans since launching last year."

But TechCrunch says Koum was sure to reiterate during his talk that WhatsApp isn't changing. Still no ads. 

We're still going to give that a heavy "We'll see." But for now, WhatsApp should celebrate. After all, Monday marks its fifth birthday. 



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Springfield Girl Scouts give scarves for those in need
Springfield Girl Scouts give scarves for those in need
1 taken to hospital from Springfield house fire
1 taken to hospital from Springfield house fire
Therapy dog in festive van delivers holiday cheer to hospital
Therapy dog in festive van delivers holiday cheer to hospital
Santo the therapy dog is looking more like Santa these days. He even has his own transportation, though Santo rides in a festive van, not a sleigh.
Several Springfield senior police officers set to retire as group
Several Springfield senior police officers set to retire as group
Historic home now open as bed and breakfast in Eastern Clark County
Historic home now open as bed and breakfast in Eastern Clark County
More Stories