WhatsApp has launched a free voice calling service inside its Android messaging application, allowing the 400 million users on Android the opportunity to call friends for free.
The VoIP service has been in the works for months. It allows WhatsApp owners to skip the traditional calling services offered by carriers in the form of ‘minutes’, instead using Wi-Fi to connect with anyone in the world.
This might irk carriers, but WhatsApp cannot simply be banned from a carrier. It is the most popular messaging app in the world, beating its parent Facebook’s messenger service and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat.
WhatsApp claims an unlimited data plan should be bought if you’re planning to use the calling service, since it sinks a lot of data. Some US carriers do not offer unlimited data for this exact reason - customers milking the wireless data.
Thankfully in Europe, unlimited data is the norm. WhatsApp users should have no problem switching from normally calling to VoIP, if they haven’t already considering Skype has been around for over a decade with this service.
Facebook seems to be transitioning WhatsApp to a full messaging platform, while Facebook Messenger becomes a place to read news articles, send funny GIFs and have more colorful interactions with friends.
It is an odd relationship between parent and subsidiary, considering WhatsApp seems to be more popular than its counterpart Messenger. Facebook has no plans dropping either one though, considering both have over 600 million total users.