What'sApp to add voice messaging - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

What'sApp to add voice messaging

Posted: Updated:
© MGN Online © MGN Online

BARCELONA, Spain (KNOE 8 News/AP) - WhatsApp, the popular messaging service for smartphones acquired this week by Facebook, will soon be offering a voice service.

CEO Jan Koum said the voice service will be deployed for Android and iPhones this spring, with Blackberry and Microsoft and Nokia phones coming later.

"We are going to introduce voice in WhatsApp in the second quarter of this year," Koum said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. "I think we have the best voice product out there. We use the least amount of bandwidth."

WhatsApp currently has a voice function but only in note form. This new service will be live.

On Wednesday, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in a deal that is by far the biggest by the social networking company and any other done by Google, Microsoft or Apple.

Wearing a gray shirt, jeans and a black jacket, the 38-year-old Koum quipped - "last week we added a new Facebook friend. I don't know if you guys heard."

The blockbuster deal made serious waves with those in the telecommunications industry who gathered this week in the Catalan city, but also sparked concern among users that Facebook would introduce advertising to WhatsApp.

Koum insisted that there are no designs to add "marketing" to the messaging service.

"There are no planned changes," said Koum. "Our vision and mission are aligned. We both want to make the world more connected."

Facebook is paying $12 billion in stock and $4 billion in cash for WhatsApp. Koum along with fellow founder Brian Acton and their 55 employees were also granted restricted stock worth $3 billion that will vest over four years after the deal closes.

Koum said that he didn't expect that WhatsApp's staff would grow in number very much, saying that "we want to operate as a startup."

Relatively unknown until now in the U.S., WhatsApp is popular in other countries, both in Europe and in emerging economies. The Mountain View, California, startup already has almost twice as many users as the better known short messaging service, Twitter.

WhatsApp has 465 million monthly users and 330 daily users, according to Koum, and costs users $1 a year after a first free year.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Unrestrained driver killed In Lincoln Parish

    Unrestrained driver killed In Lincoln Parish

    Saturday, August 30 2014 3:10 PM EDT2014-08-30 19:10:54 GMT
    RUSTON, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A Marion man died this morning after a single vehicle accident in Lincoln Parish.Around 5:45 a.m. Saturday, Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a crash on Louisiana Highway 33 north of Interstate 20.
    RUSTON, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A Marion man died this morning after a single vehicle accident in Lincoln Parish.Around 5:45 a.m. Saturday, Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a crash on Louisiana Highway 33 north of Interstate 20.
  • Second arrest made in April 2013 murder

    Second arrest made in April 2013 murder

    Saturday, August 30 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 19:00:56 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A second arrest has been made in the April 2013 murder of Steve Brown.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A second arrest has been made in the April 2013 murder of Steve Brown.
  • Teacher accused of having sex with 2 students

    Teacher accused of having sex with 2 students

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:53:04 GMT
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Riverdale Christian Academy administrators have fired English teacher Ashley Dowden following her confession to deputies that she had sex with a 16-year-old student.
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Riverdale Christian Academy administrators have fired English teacher Ashley Dowden following her confession to deputies that she had sex with a 16-year-old student.
  • Rayville issues boil water alert

    Rayville issues boil water alert

    Thursday, August 29 2013 11:00 AM EDT2013-08-29 15:00:09 GMT
    RAYVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Tests show the presence of E.coli Bacteria in the Rayville Water System drinking water. The system is alerting all customers to boil water prior to use.
    RAYVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Tests show the presence of E.coli Bacteria in the Rayville Water System drinking water. The system is alerting all customers to boil water prior to use.
  • Union Parish & LSP make two meth arrests

    Union Parish & LSP make two meth arrests

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:10:04 GMT
    UNION PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News UPSO) - Union Parish and State Police narcotics agents made two arrests Thursday on methamphetamine-related charges.
    UNION PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News UPSO) - Union Parish and State Police narcotics agents made two arrests Thursday on methamphetamine-related charges.
  • Board tells yoga training schools to get licensed

    Board tells yoga training schools to get licensed

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:35 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:35:35 GMT
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas state board says schools that train yoga teachers will soon need to attain a license.
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas state board says schools that train yoga teachers will soon need to attain a license.
  • 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

    49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-08-30 01:30:05 GMT
    San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended for nine games by the NFL after a series of off-field legal issues.
    The San Francisco 49ers have been preparing for months to play on without Aldon Smith over an extended period.
  • KNOE tailgates with a ULM Grove legend

    KNOE tailgates with a ULM Grove legend

    Thursday, August 28 2014 5:17 PM EDT2014-08-28 21:17:41 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)- Buddy Embanato is a familiar face in the Grove during football season.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)- Buddy Embanato is a familiar face in the Grove during football season.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.