Today, one possible answer revealed itself as select Android users report discovering a new voice calling feature in WhatsApp, similar to the kind offered by Skype and Viber. Photos and video showing the feature have popped up on Reddit and YouTube, although some have been removed due to personal information. Early users reported that the feature is buggy, suggesting it may be an early version and not designed to be live quite yet.
The update can reportedly be found in the latest build of the WhatsApp client—version 2.11.508, which is not yet available for public downloads in the Google Play Store. Once it is, its presence (or lack thereof) will give us some indication of whether WhatsApp intended for this feature to be discovered.
WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum has said before that he wants to move the company into voice calling, although he had never publicly set a deadline for creating that feature. Previously, he suggested the feature would arrive on Android and iOS devices first, before expanding to include Nokia and BlackBerry devices.
This isn’t the only change WhatsApp has launched recently. It also debuted a new feature allowing people to use the app on their computer desktop, via a web browser. With the addition of voice calling on top of this, WhatsApp’s clearly working overtime to cater to its fast-growing user base–which recently hit the 700 million mark.