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Facebook's WhatsApp To Take On FaceTime And Skype

Facebook's WhatsApp To Take On FaceTime And Skype

Last year, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg bought messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion dollars in a deal that many questioned at the time. Since purchasing the app, Facebook has been working to improve its functionality and grow its user base.

So far, WhatsApp has more than 900 billion monthly active users and has become the most popular messaging service in the world, with Facebook's Messenger coming in at a far off second with 700 million monthly active users.

New Features

Now, Facebook is planning to up the ante even further by adding a video calling feature to WhatsApp that will allow it to compete with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)'s FaceTime and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT)'s Skype.

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Video calling could be a game changer for WhatsApp as it is likely to rope in even more users and keep existing users from switching services. Unlike Apple's popular FaceTime feature that provides video chats between Apple device users, WhatsApp would allow for calling between different devices, making the feature accessible for anyone with a smartphone that downloads the app.

Monetization More Important Than Ever

While WhatsApp's growing user base is impressive, Facebook has yet to unveil plans as to how it will turn the service into a money maker for the company. Over the past year, Zuckerberg has been tight-lipped about his plans for the app's future, but as it continues to grow, many expect that Facebook will eventually figure out a way to bring in more revenue from its features.

With the app expected to push out a new update including the video calling feature within the coming month, Zuckerberg could address the monetization issues in the firm's upcoming earnings call in January.


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