WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton this week told the Facebook F8 developers conference, where he shared the stage with Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, that Apple iPhone users will be able to make phone calls using WhatsApp in a “couple of weeks.”
Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, and the instant messaging app has reached 700 million monthly active users in January.
iPhone users will make phone calls through a technology called Voice over Internet Protocol, or VOIP. These calls, like Skype calls, will be made over WiFi, 3G or 4G, and won’t affect the number of minutes in customers’ mobile phone plan. Of course, the phone companies might change those plans to better reflect increased WiFi use…
The WhatsApp update will facilitate free VOIP calls between different mobile operating systems, including Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry.
The desktop version of WhatsApp only works for Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Nokia S60 devices.
According to Forbes, during his keynote at Mobile World Congress last year, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg said he picked up WhatsApp as part of his vision for the Internet.org initiative, to bring Internet access to people who do not have access.
And now people who have Internet will have access to mobile phone calls on their mobile phones. The circle is complete.