In addition to sending messages in text form, users can also send and receive images, video, and audio messages. push-to-talk like voice messaging was added to all platforms on August 7, 2013. Messages can be sent in a group similar to Kik. WhatsApp also includes a Broadcast feature as well as a Status feature, putting it more parallel with the KakaoTalk and LINE apps.
Like Kik, WhatsApp does not include a real-time voice over IP calling feature, but sidesteps this limitation by allowing users to send short audio and video messages natively (with Kik, a downloadable add-on is required). WhatsApp also launched cross-platform voice messaging in August 2013. Full VoIP capabilities were announced on February 24, 2014 for inclusion into WhatsApp in Q2 2014.
WhatsApp handles approximately ten billion messages per day as of August 2012, five times more than it handled four months earlier. WhatsApp hit 400 million monthly active users worldwide in December 2013 and then skyrocketed to over 500 million by the end of April 2014. By April 2015, this number had grown to over 800 million active users.
In February 2014, Facebook agreed to purchase WhatsApp for $16 billion, plus $3 billion in stock.