WhatsApp Messenger or WhatsApp, as it is popularly known is a cross-platform instant messaging subscription service for smartphones, which relies on internet for communicating. Using this software one can send text messages, videos, and images, along with audio media messages. Locations can also be sent using the built-in mapping features. This software is available for a variety of platforms such as the iOS, Android, Nokia series 40, Nokia Symbian, Nokia Asha, and Blackberry 10. The company WhatsApp Inc. was founded by two American citizens Jan Koum, who also happens to be the CEO, and Brian Acton, in 2009. Both of the founders previously worked for Yahoo!, and the company has its headquarters in Mountain View, California. The company has a strength of only 55 employees. WhatsApp handles billions of messages per day worldwide. WhatsApp registered their record for the most messages per day on the 13th of July, 2013, recording 27 billion messages that day. It is used across the globe.
Technical aspects of WhatsApp
WhatsApp primarily uses the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol’s customized version. After installing the software, the user account is created, by using the phone number, which acts as a username. After the account has been created, WhatsApp checks the phonebook of the user and compares all the existing numbers to the numbers in the central WhatsApp database, so that the contacts can be directly added to the user’s WhatsApp account. Previously the software’s Android and S40 version used to use the mobile’s IMEI number as the password, and the iOS version used the Wi-Fi MAC address of the phone as its password. But all of this has changed since 2012, and the server now allows a random password for every user. This software is supported on most of the smartphones running on Android, iOS, Nokia, and Blackberry. WhatsApp is supported on all Android devices running on Android 2.1 or later, all Blackberry smartphone having OS 4.7 or later that also includes Blackberry 10, and all iOS devices having iOS 4.3 or above. But some of the Dual SIM smartphones may not support WhatsApp, though some workarounds are available.
Acquisitions about WhatsApp
Recently there has been news that Facebook is willing to buy WhatsApp for US$ 19 billion. This purchase is said to be the biggest purchase by venture capitalists in history. This acquisition was not predicted. Weeks before the acquisition, Facebook had changed the permissions for the Facebook Android app. From that moment on the Facebook app also required access to the messages in the phone. This change in the acquisition caused a lot of the users to switch to other messaging apps such as LINE, Telegram, and Viber.