Here's what the upcoming WhatsApp voice call feature looks like

(Photo: PhoneItalia)

Jan Koum, CEO of WhatsApp, announced that the messaging app will receive a voice call feature. Recently, leaked pictures came out showing what the voice call functionality will look like.

The leaked images surfaced last Friday on iPhone Italia, an Italian Apple-focused blog. They depict the supposed Beta version of the upcoming Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) feature.

The voice-calling feature will reportedly let users make free voice calls with their tablets and smartphones via a cellular connection, or through Wi-Fi. Users can send voice messages to their contacts by pressing and holding the microphone icon. This feature would function more like a phone call than a voicemail.

At last month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Koum was on stage to present this new capability, which will keep it up to speed in the VoIP race, with competitors like Viber and Skype. The new feature will be presented during the second quarter of 2014.

In a speech reported by Reuters, Koum said that letting people stay in touch affordably is their mission and their goal is to be on all mobile phones all over the world. The speech came days after the app was bought by Facebook for $19 billion.

In other news, WhatsApp downplayed reports that its messaging service in the Android version was vulnerable to hackers, and that logs of user chats can be stolen. The company said that those claims are "overstated". Last week, Bas Bosschert, a tech expert said WhatsApp allows easy malware installation onto an Android smartphone, including access to the log containing user conversations.

Copyright © 2014 Ecumenical News