A few weeks ago, Android WhatsApp users gained the ability to make calls within the app. Today, iOS users will start receiving an update to enable free calling. The update also includes a new sharing extension for sending photos, videos, and links directly to WhatsApp.
The calling feature is not tied to a specific version of WhatsApp so you may not see the feature, even if you’re running the latest version of the app. WhatsApp will flip the switch to enable calling for a small set of users at a time, as a way to test the integrity of the service.
WhatsApp gained popularity by being a free text messaging replacement and with the new free calling feature, you might not even need a fancy mobile plan any more. Calls placed using WhatsApp only lets you talk to other WhatsApp users, but with 800 million monthly active users, that’s a lot of potential people you can call for free.
Not only is this good news for people who want to save on their cell phone bill but for those who have poor reception at home or at the office. Since WhatsApp calling is handled using the internet, all you need a good connection to make calls.
If you’re not a WhatsApp user, you can also make free voice calls using Google Hangouts. Google’s solution is even better as you can call any number within the US for free. If you have to make an overseas call, you put money in your Google Hangouts account to make international calls.
With free calling, WhatsApp is more useful than ever. Users can even chat with friends on a computer using WhatsApp’s web app. Check out my guide on how to use WhatsApp inside a web browser.
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