WhatsApp is all set to introduce voice calling feature, which would be completely free. Leaked images collected by a technology blog based in Netherlands suggest that the feature is currently being tested among employees.
Here are the leaked images:
Based on the screenshots, it appears that WhatsApp has created new screens, which will allow the user to make the call. Missed calls notifications would also be available, along with a feature which suggests that voice mail can also be provided along with free call.
Once the voice call feature is activated, WhatsApp would be challenging other messengers such as Hike, Viber and Line which already provides voice based calling feature. But considering that WhatsApp is world’s biggest instant messenger with 600 million+ active users, this new feature can actually change the whole game.
Globally, people update 70 billion messages, 1 billion images and 200 million videos on WhatsApp everyday. It is not difficult to assume how many calls people would make on WhatsApp, once its live.
WhatsApp In India
There are roughly 70 million users of WhatsApp in India, which is almost double than subscribers of Hike which comes at distant 2nd. 4-5 million people are installing WhatsApp every month, and the number is all set to cross 100 million by the time 2015 ends.
If we compare the subscribers of other messengers, then we will find WhatsApp is way ahead of others:
- WhatsApp – 70 Active Million (as of Oct 2014)
- Hike – 35 registered million (as of Aug 2014)
- Line – 30 Million (as of Oct 2014)
- Viber – 25 million (as of Aug 2014)
- WeChat – < 20 million (approximation. no numbers available)
WhatsApp is extremely popular in India right now, as it has seeped into the mainstream communication channels. UP Government is using WhatsApp as a crime detection tool as they have issued 3000+ challans till now, based on complains received from this messenger. Telecom players such as Tata DoCoMo and others have introduced special plans exclusively designed for WhatsApp. Even political parties are planning to launch WhatsApp like messengers to communicate with their supporters and well-wishers.
Earlier in the month of September, we had shared some leaked images of WhatsApp, which suggested that the voice calling feature is being developed. With the leak of recent images, it seems clear that WhatsApp is aware of the paradigm shift which voice calling can bring into its ecosystem; and they will leave no stone unturned in implementing the same.
We will keep you updated as we receive more details.
Do you think that telecom players in India will hugely suffer once voice calling is introduced in WhatsApp? Do share your views by commenting right here!