Roaming charges from international phone calls are a thing of the past. WhatsApp is now the No. 1 choice for sending and receiving text messages, phone calls and video messages. According to Brantley (2014), at a time when most US carriers where charging minimal amounts for SMS, but overseas, the fees could reach as high as 65 cents per message. But now with the invention of WhatsApp, this chat app allows you to contact your friends and family for free (data charges may apply).
Started in 2009, creators Brian Acton and Jan Koum came up with the idea to create this social app right when the development of new apps were about to explode through Apple Store. They decided to call it WhatsApp since it sounded like What’s Up, the most common message sent through text message. When the app officially launched, Koum and Acton had no idea WhatsApp would grow an incredibly amount of users. By Early 2011, WhatsApp was in the top 20 apps in Apple’s US App Store. In December of 2013, WhatsApp had reached up to 400 million active users, and they kept growing from there. With their increased popularity, Facebook purchased WhatsApp in February 2014 for $19.3 billion. According to Wikipedia, as of February 2016, WhatsApp has reached over 1 billion active users, making it the most popular messaging app.
Numerous amounts of case studies have been done on WhatsApp explaining the tremendous marketing opportunities for businesses to reach their consumers, or in other words, B2C marketing tactics. The best reasons WhatsApp is successful for organizations is due to it being cost free, algorithm free, having an easy to use platform and end-to-end encryption, meaning all conversations are private and secure. It’s no wonder why organizations are choosing to place their ads and connect with consumers through WhatsApp. Many organizations have created channels to connect with people and inform them in chat room style forums. For instance, BBC reached over 25,000 subscribers through their WhatsApp channel to receive Ebola crisis health alerts.
I personally love using WhatsApp and can honestly say it is the only way I am able to chat with my brother. My brother moved to Switzerland back in 2014, and realized in the first month of him being gone how expensive it was to text or call him when I received my phone bill. Once we heard about WhatsApp, we both downloaded it and started to easily talk to one another. To this day, we have never spent a penny contacting each other through WhatsApp, and always have clear and great audio/visual feed. I know I added to WhatsApp success once I informed everyone I knew about the app and how easy it would be for them to speak to their friends or loved ones overseas.
- Brantley, Wade (2014, August 23). The Power of Simplicity: A WhatsApp Case Study. Retrieved from http://www.business2community.com/startups/power-simplicity-whatsapp-case-study-0983034#TW649rcaPcyRqP07.97
- WhatsApp (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from September 30, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WhatsApp
- Smith, Craig (2016, August 29). WhatsApp Statistics. Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/whatsapp-statistics/