In February, WhatsApp began exploring putting VoIP in its messaging application, which has more than 600 million users worldwide. Now it looks like the Facebook-owned company won’t be seeing the functinoality until next year.
WhatsApp’s CEO Jan Koum says they are targeting a first quarter 2015 date to add voice features in a presentation at the Code/Mobile conference this week. The executive admitted that the development team has a number of technical hurdles to overcome before launching voice features, one of which being fact that the app doesn’t have access to the microphones on some smartphones.
WhatsApp will explore VoIP in the first quarter 2015
While WhatsApp isn’t planning on competing with Facebook Messenger the feature sets of both applications are starting to become quite similar, which begs the question as to how long they can last as separate apps. Koum says WhatsApp’s biggest differentiator is that it works on only mobile devices while Messenger works on desktop and mobile, a differentiator that could change with the popularity of tablets.
What do you think about being able to place calls via WhatsApp to your friends?