How Whatsapp Southwodinskygizmodo: In the last few years, companies like WhatsApp have remade what it means to communicate with friends and family in countries like Kenya and India. Through heavy investment in partnerships that connect the app to cheap mobile devices, new technology infrastructure, and partnerships with telecom providers, WhatsApp has quickly grown into a “utility” for many people. In this post we take a closer look at how WhatsApp reached this point.
WhatsApp has over one billion monthly active users. This allows it to quickly become the top app in several markets and therefore it is a business that investors can consider for funding. In fact, Whatsapp recently made its $19 billion acquisition offer public, which means that it is an attractive business to invest in.
WhatsApp’s early start
WhatsApp has been around since 2009 and was developed in a spare bedroom of co-founder Brian Acton’s second residence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The app debuted in 2009 and rapidly became popular in various countries across Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Among other markets, the app quickly caught on amongst people in the United States, Canada and Brazil.
WhatsApp’s first big challenge came from Facebook’s WhatsApp Platform with the introduction of its latest feature: Snapchat-Style Stories
In August 2014, Facebook introduced new features to its messaging platform that allowed users to create short video clips called “Stories”, similar to Snapchat features. WhatsApp’s reaction was to introduce an update that allowed users to send messages that were limited to 160 characters.
WhatsApp’s update caused consternation among the general public, who had come to rely on the 160 character limit for their messaging needs. In fact, the Facebook platform itself has been criticized for introducing features that users have grown accustomed to having in WhatsApp. However, Snapchat itself is a Facebook-owned company and as such it is hard for WhatsApp to criticize features from that company. Moreover, it is worth noting that WhatsApp’s feature update was very similar in nature to Snapchat’s. In fact, Wired’s Kashmir Hill described the feature update as “a straight port of Snapchat”, and it was brought to user attention by a blog post from Snapchat itself.
WhatsApp did not take long to respond in a way that alluded to a lawsuit. By the end of 2014, WhatsApp started charging users a fee for storing photos on its servers and started displaying ads when “unread” chats were displayed.