Recent reports suggest WhatsApp is working on a new “Call via Skype” feature that will let users make voice calls for free through Skype.
According to Maktechblog, WhatsApp’s November update referenced a “Call via Skype” feature, which suggest WhatsApp might not roll out its own video-calling feature, but simply integrate a “Call via Skype” button into the messenger app.
With “Call via Skype” feature, the instant messaging service might offer users a one-click option to turn their ongoing audio-calls or text conversation into a video chat.
WhatsApp seems to be following the same lines as its parent company Facebook which has also partnered with Skype to launch its video chat service.
Other than the video-calling reference in the update’s APK file, the tech blog also spotted multiple call options including ‘Call Mute’, ‘Call Hold’, ‘Call back’, ‘Call me in X minutes’, ‘Call back message’, ‘Call Notifications’, and ‘Separate screen for call logs.’
The tech blog also found traces of another important voice call feature, Driving Mode, in the code which might be for the purpose of reading out messages loud when someone is driving or busy, as well as a ‘Do not disturb’ feature.
WhatsApp CEO, Jan Koum, had earlier confirmed in October that the voice calling feature was in the works, but also revealed the release would be delayed till Q1 2015 owing to some technical issues.
Roll out of the voice call feature on WhatsApp would come as a challenge for other messengers such as Hike, Viber and Line which already provides voice based calling feature.