Before moving to Panama I had never heard of the popular app WhatsApp. We did our homework and learned that almost everyone with a smart phone here uses it! So I figured I would share a little about it, and what has made it become so wildly popular that they now claim over 600 million users worldwide!
Here’s a short list of reasons that contributed to its increasing usage since 2009 and facts about WhatsApp
- All you need to sign up is your phone number
- WhatsApp tapped into your contact list to display friends already using the app.
- All you need for WhatsApp is an internet connection or WiFi
- Free for a year and $0.99 a year for unlimited messages
- MMS was rarely used due to its cost, WhatsApp made it affordable with its photo sharing feature
- Cross platform compatibility (still includes Symbian!!) saw users in emerging marketing jump on the bandwagon
WhatsApp got a lot things right in the beginning and its growth rate is reportedly faster than Facebook’s. With Mark Zuckerberg even saying “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people.”
On February 20th, 2014 Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 Billion yes that’s a “B” billion dollars!
The thing is that it’s just insane the amount of money being tabled for a messaging app. And can Facebook recoup their investment in WhatsApp? The social media giant announced they will keep it independent, and with no advertisements scheduled to appear. Yet, the question of the day is: Where’s the money going to come from?