WhatsApp, fresh after its high-priced acquisition by Facebook, has announced that it will add voice calls in the coming months. The announcement was made by Co-founder Jan Koum at the on-going Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
This move could either be a direct result of the acquisition or a natural progression for WhatsApp to keep up with competitors such as Viber, LINE and others, though Koum maintained that the acquisition will not alter the product roadmap as it looks to reach 1 billion users. He reiterated that there will be no ads on WhatsApp.
Earlier this month, key WhatsApp competitor, Viber was bought by a Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company, Rakuten, for $900 million. The mobile IM and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) market has become highly competitive in recent times and is populated by players such as Chinese company Tencent Holdings’ WeChat, Viber, and LINE, among others. Microsoft’s Skype is also a popular VoIP service.