Facebook has already implemented a Wi-Fi calling feature into Facebook Messenger, but one of Facebook’s newest acquisitions from earlier this year, WhatsApp, is set to release a free voice-calling feature for its own customers. A new language translation feature when a call is placed indicates that the new feature is on its way and should arrive sometime soon.
WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook earlier this year, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warned Facebook sternly to honor the privacy regulations WhatsApp established for its customers and not violate them in order to access user data. In recent weeks, Facebook’s own Facebook Messenger app has been accused of violating user privacy with user permissions that require Facebook to record audio calls, access photos and smartphone cameras, as well as Wi-Fi networks and the ability to read contact lists and both read and edit text messages.
Facebook has claimed in recent weeks that it bears no responsibility for Facebook Messenger permissions at the Google Play Store – seeing that Google owns Android and is in charge of the app’s permissions. When an app is downloaded, Google mandates that all permissions be granted before the app can be downloaded onto a user’s device.
While many believe that WhatsApp’s voice-calling feature will be free, it’s also the case that, like all other voice-calling plans via apps, you’ll have to have a robust phone plan that allows such calls to be made. Many carriers now have unlimited talking and texting plans that leave room for Facebook, FaceTime, and other audio calls. What this feature does state, however, is that WhatsApp won’t charge its users to allow them to make calls. As for carriers and individual phone plans, however, that is another story entirely.
Despite the privacy violation fears by the FCC, WhatsApp has increased its user base by 15 percent since the Facebook acquisition earlier this Spring. It is our hope that WhatsApp audio calls won’t have to worry about “prying ears” that will record their audio calls and edit their text messages.