Now call your family and friends using WhatsApp for free, even if they are in another country. WhatsApp has officially rolled out the latest update (2.12.5) which has the calling feature. WhatsApp call feature use internet connection (either your phone’s or wi-fi) rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes. Data charges may apply based on your plans. No invite is needed to use this feature. You can download the latest update from Google Play Store and start using the feature.

Users simply have to click on the ‘Calls’ tab and choose a contact to phone a friend at no cost.WhatsApp uses VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) for making calls. The call feature of WhatsApp will give tough competition to popular apps like Skype, Viber etc. Earlier this year WhatsApp introduced WhatsApp web version so that you can use the app on your desktop as well. Web version is available on Chrome, Firefox, Opera browsers as well.

WhatsApp call feature

WhatsApp handles 64 billion messages per day as of April 2014. 20 billion messages sent (inbound) and 44 billion messages received (outbound) in a day.

WhatsApp started as a group text messaging app in 2009 was later acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion. WhatsApp has over 500 million active users as of April 2014 with 700 million photos shared per day, 100 million videos shared per day and 64 billion messages handled per day.

WhatsApp calling Feature

When someone calls you from WhatsApp, you will see an incoming WhatsApp calling screen. Tap the green button to answer the call or the red button to decline the call. There is an option to decline the call and send a quick message on WhatsApp. The calls tab has a list of your incoming, outgoing and missed calls. To start calling contact who have WhatsApp, you can also tap the New Call icon at the top of your WhatsApp screen. In addition to the call tab, WhatsApp introduced chats and contacts tab as well. You can also click the contact and once taken inside the contact screen, you can type your messages as usual and there is a call button on the top to call the contact. The calling feature has the option to switch to speaker phone, mute the call and view the duration of the call.

Remember that the calling feature requires an active internet connection and you cannot call the emergency services through WhatsApp.

The new feature will give tough times for competitors like Skype, Viber etc. Even though Skype was the early adopter of this feature, WhatsApp user base will help them to make these users stick to WhatsApp even more now. That means the competitors like Hike, Telegram messenger, Snapchat will have some tough times ahead. The social messaging app has seen some boom in the recent years with the introduction of global as well as local players.

Now we have to wait and watch to see what Facebook will do with their Facebook Messenger. By acquiring WhatsApp, Facebook might have intentions to retire Facebook Messenger.

What are your thoughts about the WhatsApp calling feature? Let us know in the comments section below.