"Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they're in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone's Internet connection rather than your cellular plan's voice minutes. Data charges may apply.
How many ways can you spell "disruption"?
(Hint: w - h - a - t - s - a - p - p)
Sure, there have been a zillion mobile apps providing Over-The-Top (OTT) voice services, many of which I've written about here on this site.
But this is WhatsApp!
Oh, and it's owned by Facebook! :-)
Now, I personally don't use WhatsApp that much right now. The people who I want to message are primarily using iMessage, Facebook Messenger or Wire. (And every once in a great while I'll fire up Skype on my iPhone.)
But obviously there are 800 million people who do use WhatsApp each month... and they now have free calling! (If they are on Android, iOS or BlackBerry 10... and subject to a staggered rollout, i.e. people will get the actual ability to call over the next while.)
It will be fascinating to see how this plays out.
WhatsApp provides a messaging app with a very simple user experience (UX) that works seamlessly inside the iPhone. Now that same app can be used for calling. And most importantly, WhatsApp has the massive directory of users.
The legacy telcos are going to be saying good bye to even more of their diminishing calling revenue...
Interesting times ahead!
- WhatsApp: How do I use WhatsApp Calling?
- Wired: Facebook’s WhatsApp Will Be How the World Makes Phone Calls (good read about the impact in the developing countries)
- TechCrunch: WhatsApp Begins Rolling Out Its Voice-Calling Feature To iOS Users