If you are one of the 700 million WhatsApp users, then you have a reason to celebrate. Why? Well, it seems the online messaging giant is all set to launch its voice calling feature for the Android users.
Though there is no official announcement yet, a couple of days back reports of a voice calling feature on WhatsApp rushed in from around the globe.
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While this feature was not enabled for all the users, there are a lucky few who noticed the voice calling feature active on their device.
How did it work?
According to the reports, a small number of users noticed a voice calling feature available on their devices.
They could call a contact from within the application and the same feature would be activated in his/her contact’s device.
The WhatsApp 2.11.531 version downloaded from the official website or version 2.11.528 downloaded from the Play store will support this feature.
Changes in User Interface
Being one of the few lucky users, I noticed a change in the user interface. Once the VoIP calling feature was activated, UI modified itself to show three tabs; one each for chats, voice calls and contacts.
While I was using 3G internet connection, I’ve learnt that the feature works on 2G too.
Though the feature was functional for a very short span, it indicates that the facebook owned app is almost ready to launch this new voice calling feature and is probably testing the beta version.
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Now, this one is big and may have serious consequences.
Firstly, with the launch of this new feature, WhatsApp will start eating up the market space of its competitor app such as Hike, Viber, WeChat etc who have already launched the voice calling feature.
Secondly, the mobile network operators will face a great challenge. WhatsApp have significantly curtailed the SMS revenue of most of the major network providers by launching the instant messaging app.
Now with the launch of this new feature, the network providers are at a risk of losing out on their calling revenue from 700 million WhatsApp users.
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While industry veterans are expecting a steep rise in mobile data packs as a survival strategy from the network owners, the spirit of WhatsApp users shows no sign of dampening.
Though the service was promptly blocked by WhatsApp, this has started a lot of debate and anticipation among the users for sure.
While the official statement is expected at any time now, there is no doubt once activated this feature can be of great benefit to its users.
Were you one of the lucky few users? If so, how was your experience? What are you expecting from this new feature? Do let us know.
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