Phone calling rolls out to WhatsApp users on iOS


It’s taken a while, but a majority of WhatsApp users should have access to the company’s calling feature beginning today.

With an update rolling out to iOS today, Apple users will soon be able to make VoIP-based calls to other WhatsApp users, something the company has been promising for a long time.

Like Skype and other VoIP-related services (and the upcoming VoLTE standard) WhatsApp uses a data connection to connect to others within its network. The result is a better quality call with faster connection speeds.

While a voice calling feature may by itself not seem like a big deal, it fits into the direction WhatsApp has been moving for some time: an all-encompassing communications platform that goes beyond just sending instant messages. WhatsApp recently reported that it now has 800 million monthly active users, so much of the world’s smartphone community has at least signed up for the $0.99/year service. As networks move to a more data-focused operating model, services like WhatsApp stand to benefit most from the transition.

Prior to this, WhatsApp rolled out the option to send voice memos to other users.

The voice calling feature will roll out over the next few weeks, but WhatsApp for iOS also has a new feature available to everyone today: integration with iOS 8’s Share Sheet, allowing users to quickly link content from other apps directly into WhatsApp. It’s also now possible to quickly share a photo within an existing chat.