OTT messaging application WhatsApp is to launch an internet-based voice messaging service for users. The firm is releasing its Voice Messages feature on all of the smartphone platforms it supports simultaneously.
Operators have lamented losing messaging revenues to OTT players, whose services are perceived as free to use, for the past few years. In a bid to entice customers back to using operator messaging services, many have signed up to offer the GSMA’s rich communication service (RCS) Joyn, which allows users to communicate using enriched text, images, voice and real-time video. However, OTT players are not remaining static and the move from WhatsApp represents a threat to operator messaging services in the offing.
WhatsApp said it worked “very hard to make sure that iPhone and Android devices have perfectly working Voice Messages” functionality, and that it put in “extra effort into making sure that BlackBerry, Nokia and Windows Phone users can enjoy the same rich and powerful Voice Messaging experience”.
In April this year, Nokia unveiled a device with a dedicated WhatsApp button, giving users easier access to the service.
With Amazon and Google launching smart home initiatives, have the telcos missed out on their chance to cash in on this market?
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