International messaging app and recent $16 billion Facebook acquisition WhatsApp will get a big boost to its services. The app will add voice calling in the second quarter of this year, CEO Jan Koum announced Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (via Reuters).
Koum also announced a partnership with German telecom KPN’s E-Plus to start a WhatsApp-branded mobile service. Although the company is no stranger to telecom partnerships, this will be the first to also offer voice calling.
The move into voice positions WhatsApp as a do-it-all alternative to telecoms that allow users across the world easier access to communications. Facebook also announced free VoIP integration with its Messenger app last year, meaning that Messenger and WhatsApp will once again have a significant (although not inherently useless) overlap in services.