Apple iPhone users will now have the option of voice-calling on WhatsApp as well. The feature had already been rolled-out to Android users.
According to the Apple itunes store, the latest iOS version of WhatsApp, version 2.12.1 brings voice-calling to the app. The itunes store description reads, “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. Note: WhatsApp Calling is rolling out slowly over the next several weeks.”
While we updated the app, the voice-calling option hasn’t yet gone live for us on the app, so it could take several weeks for the complete roll-out to take place.
The other interesting feature of this update is that WhatsApp is now finally making use of iOS 8’s Extensions, which means that you can now directly share a photo, video, links to WhatsApp from the Camera, Photos app in iOS.
Users can also edit contacts directly from WhatsApp itself. The other feature is the ability to send multiple videos and to crop and rotate the videos before sharing them. We also saw that you can add a caption to a video before sending them to a user.
The latest update comes soon after WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum announced on Facebook that the messaging app now has 800 million users.
Koum wrote on Facebook, “WhatsApp – now serving 800,000,000 monthly active users. Reminder for the press out there: active and registered users are not the same thing.”
This is a big milestone for WhatsApp, since the company had announced in January that it had the 700 million monthly active users. That means in a span of over 4 months, they added another 100 million monthly active users.
The difference between registered users and monthly active users is an important one. Monthly active users indicate user engagement on that service. In WhatsApp’s case that’s 800 million currently, which is second only to its parent company Facebook, that boasts of more than 1 billion monthly active users.
WhatsApp is thus ahead of rivals like the Chinese app WeChat which has over 500 million monthly active users as of March 2015. WeChat is the most popular messaging app in China, where WhatsApp is still not available.
With voice-calling roll-out starting for iOS users, WhatsApp has come a long way from being a simple messaging app. It remains to be seen what other changes we’ll see in the app in the coming months.