Facebook’s new messaging service is about to turn into Facebook’s new voice service. Today at Mobile World Congress, WhatsApp announced it’s branching out into phone calls.
According to CEO Jan Koum, the free VOIP feature should be coming to the Android and iOS versions of the app in the second quarter of 2014, with Windows Phone and Blackberry to follow. By offering text and voice and being owned by Facebook, WhatsApp will now join the ranks of Microsoft-owned Skype and Google’s Hangouts.
But WhatsApp and Facebook combined probably already have a list of everyone you know, which is a convenient little head start. Then again, voice calling in Facebook Messenger already existed, but never quite caught on. Maybe WhatsApp can be the second chance it never had. [New York Times]