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WhatsApp voice-calling feature revealed in leaked pics

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum recently announced that his popular messaging app would soon get voice-calling functionality, and now we reportedly have an idea of what the new feature will look like.

If new leaked images (left) are any indication, WhatsApp voice calling will look similar to iOS 7, mirroring its circular buttons and blurred background image. The images showed up Friday on the Apple-focused blog iPhoneItalia, and purportedly depict a beta version of the new WhatsApp voice over IP feature in use.

The feature will reportedly allow users to make free voice calls with their smartphones and tablets via Wi-Fi and cellular connections. WhatsApp users can already send voice messages to contacts — just press and hold the microphone icon above the keyboard.

But this upcoming addition would reportedly function more like a telephone call than a voicemail.

WhatsApp's Koum used the Mobile World Congress stage in Barcelona two weeks ago to tip the new capability, which will put the company in competition with VoIP apps such as Skype and Viber. The new feature is expected to launch in the second quarter of the year, though WhatsApp has not announced any specifics.

"We are driven by the mission that people should be able to stay in touch anywhere and affordably," Koum said during a speech, as reported by Reuters. "Our goal is to be on every mobile phone in the world."

The speech came just days after Facebook purchased the application in a $19 billion deal.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp this week downplayed reports that the Android version of its messaging service is vulnerable to hackers who could nab user chat logs. Tech expert Bas Bosschert claims the app allows for the easy installation of malware onto any Android smartphone, but WhatsApp said those accusations are "overstated."