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What’s up with WhatsApp lately?

Published by on Jan 4th, 2013, 18 Comments

There are many apps on the different platforms that are downloaded in their millions. Once an app gets a foothold it can and most probably will spread like wildfire. The trouble is, though, that the momentum stops relatively quickly and the market gets saturated after the initial demand was met. For example, when Instagram was launched on Android after becoming popular on iOS, it immediately shot to the top of the Most Downloaded list, downloaded millions of times in a couple of days. But ever since then, downloads have been trickling in at a snail’s pace.

WhatsApp is an exception. Ever since launching in 2009, it has had a constant stream of downloads. It is rarely seen on any platform available today for an app to stay relevant for so long. More impressively, it is an app that people use more regularly than almost anything else. On January 2nd 2013, WhatsApp tweeted that it had reached another milestone: 7 billion messages sent in a single day!

What makes this even more astonishing is that only about 5 months ago in August 2012, they reached 4 billion messages a day. That’s a 75% increase in a matter of months. Why has their momentum not only endured, but sped up over the last 3 years? WhatsApp is available across ALL the major platforms and can communicate between all of them. You will find it on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Symbian, and it will be released on new mobile platforms to follow in 2013 as well. Yes, BBM is essentially the same kind of app, but you can only communicate with BlackBerry users.

Having a reliable cross-platform messaging app with no ads is certainly working. Yes, it’s not entirely free. Depending on your geographic location around the world, you will either pay $0.99 per year for it or download it for free and pay $0.99 after a year’s use and then the same yearly rate. But that is a small price to pay for the ability to communicate with anyone on any device, and for no cost whatsoever (except the data of course).

Is there another messaging app you would suggest? If you aren’t using WhatsApp, what is the reason? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Forbes

Comments

  • Ronald Ho Hip

    “It is rarely seen on any platform available today” is that right? As you say it’s price is different in different parts of the world and on iOS it’s not always free , usually $0.99 or for us in South Africa a nice R7.99 on iOS just under a Rand cheaper than what a Dollar is worth in Rand.

  • Theunis Jansen van Rensburg

    Yes, its rarely seen that an app has such a high volume of downloads for such an extended period of time, like I explained with the Instagram example. It’s very difficult for developers to do that with an app that hasn’t drastically changed over the last three years. They do bring out regular enhancements and refinements, which helps, but it’s still basically the same app.

  • Ronald Ho Hip

    That statement is a bit ambiguous in that it could mean whatsapp is rarely seen on any platform, appearing to be a contradiction to your previous sentence. “It is an exception but it is rarely seen”. “It” referring to whatsapp, not how it has performed. Sorry I could just be reading it weirdly.

  • Theunis Jansen van Rensburg

    Ah, thanks, I see what you mean. Changed it.

    It’s cool that it only costs R7.99 on iOS now, that’s the advantage of having the marketplace in your native country!

  • browser_boy

    Whatsapp is amazing but it has some issues
    -it takes ALL the contacts from my phonebook and the whatsapp contact list becomes bloated
    -anyone who has my phone number can see my whatsapp profile picture and status . . . not cool
    -there is no escaping the “last seen at” function, BBM’s tick and D or R function is a better option in my opinion
    - the “last seen at” function is so unreliable
    -profile pictures have to load when you want to enlarge them, why???

  • Ronald Ho Hip

    it’s quite easy to clean up the Favorites and they’ve added a feature to remove all contacts in Favorites speaking from using the iOS version. I’m assuming it’s better not to load all the photos at full res to save your cell data. The last seen at function doesn’t appear to be unreliable to me , could be a BlackBerry problem that’s another thing which is not an issue for me. Anyone who has my number is probably someone I could trust to see my face so, to me that isn’t much of an issue either. Perhaps you should try Kik Messenger , that has a D and R feature similar to BBM , maybe your non BBM friends have that and you use your username so people have to add each other , no phone number issue for you. Most of your friends probably don’t use it though.

  • Ian

    I thought reading the headline, that it relates to my query… two days ago the whatsapp on my Iphone 3G suddenly stopped working, as it is outdated and the new version needs IOS 4.3…. the Iphone 3G only goes up to IOS4.2.1…. Bummer!!!

  • Jay

    Hi Ian … I am in the same position with an old iPhone 3G hand me down to my son. Whatsapp stopped working and went into the loop asking for verification and then asked for latest version, which is impossible because that needs iOS 4.3.

    Anyway mine is working now. I held down the Home and Off button until the phone went off, and still holding it down again until the Apple Logo came on and went off again. Then I restarted and it worked again.

    Please try that and if it works, lets us know then I know that it wasn’t just a freak accident.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.albertyn.9 Chris Albertyn

    Whats app says its free for the first year and then R7,99. However when your year is over it will warn you 1 month before expiry and ask you if you want to renew. You say “not now” and it will just auto renwe free of charge for a month and keep on doing that every second month or when the update comes out.

    So in SA it is free!!

    However when you decide to Pay the R7,99 you will have to pay every year and renew your subscription.

  • Lise

    I have been using WhatsApp for more than two years on my trusty old Nokia and have never paid for it, not even getting reminders to start paying. (Maybe on the dinosaur technology it is for free :) )

  • johan

    Am on iPhone4 and using both Viber & Whatsapp. I love Viber..can do phone calls via internet and then the messaging…:)

  • SafferinEastAsia

    I installed it yesterday after reading this article. Must say that it is not the best. Kakaotalk is way better, free, you can make calls at no cost (VOIP) and you can send photos (up to 10 with one shot) and videos etc. The quality of the voice calls are great. You can call with Whatsapp but it is at the cost of your carrier.

    Line is another app that is great and similar to Kakaotalk. I won’t be changing from them to Whatsapp any time soon.

    By the way, once you have signed up for Kakaotalk, there is Kakaostory, which is like a Facebook for mobiles. Great stuff.

  • CapeofStormz

    I have an iPhone 4S and:
    1- You can remove the contacts you don’t want from your favourites list.
    2-There’s a setting to change the “last seen” or timestamp function so that no one can see when you last you were online.

  • JJ Retief

    Mmmm…I paid$0.99 on American store. Both the wife and I are using the same purchased app (she sync’s with my username) and we both use whatsapp separately and have never had to pay more, nor received a request to start paying. Whatsapp also has Delivered & Read functionallity on iOS. Check the little check marks next to a message. Or are those just Sent and Delivered?

  • Theunis Jansen van Rensburg

    I believe it is Sent and Delivered.

  • koos

    Guys, what is R7.99 (or R9 by now) for someone who could afford a smart phone?

  • Ronald Ho Hip

    For the iPhone it seems to always be R7.99 on the South African App Store. And you’re right it’s cheap and therefore it is the top paid app and one of the top grossing apps. Interestingly it’s not a subscription as it is on some other platforms, its completely once off. The only problem is if you don’t have a credit card for some odd reason you can’t get it unless it goes free which is very seldom, or you get it gifted to you by someone.

  • Aboude

    Hi.. Please if you know how can i get the old whatsapp profile picture of my friend plz tell mee !!

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