WhatsApp - Replacement of SMS, MMS, and Other Outdated Communication Methods

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
May 28, 2022 11 min read
WhatsApp - Replacement of SMS, MMS, and Other Outdated Communication Methods

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by WhatsApp.

"No advertisements! "No tricks! No games! " β€” A basic premise that enabled a simple messaging service to defeat behemoths like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, WeChat, Snapchat, Kik Messenger, Line, etc., and others despite having only 50 employees.

Whatsapp's journey is unlike any other renowned startup tale, in which the founders generated the idea, formed a team, dropped out of college, and received pre-seed capital from a behemoth like Facebook or Google. WhatsApp was created by folks in their thirties who had decent full-time jobs with reputable brand names.

This internet messaging app was created to meet a legitimate need (empowering mobile-based conversations), and it was able to leverage practically every increasing trend, such as push alerts, as well as a necessity, such as encryption.

Today, more than a decade has passed since the company was founded, and still the firm makes millions of dollars while adhering to its no ads, no games, and no tricks principles. Know more about Whatsapp's success story, its business model, founders, revenue model, funding and more.

WhatsApp - Company Highlights

Startup Name WhatsApp
Parent Company Meta
Also Known As WhatsApp Ireland Limited
Legal Name WhatsApp Inc.
Industry Instant Messaging, Subscription Service
Headquarter San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, West Coast
Founders Brian Acton, and Jan Koum
Founded January 2009
CEO Will Cathcart
Areas Served Worldwide
Website www.whatsapp.com

About WhatsApp and How it Works?
Whatsapp - Industry
WhatsApp - Name, Logo, and Tagline
WhatsApp - Founders
WhatsApp - Startup Story
WhatsApp - Vision, and Mission
WhatsApp - WhatsApp Business
WhatsApp - Business Model
WhatsApp - Funding, and Investors
WhatsApp - Competitors
WhatsApp - Future Plans

About WhatsApp and How it Works?

WhatsApp Messenger, or just WhatsApp, is a Meta-owned free, cross-platform centralised instant messaging and voice-over-IP service which is available worldwide. Users may exchange text and voice messages, initiate audio and video chats, and exchange photographs, user locations (even live locations), document files, and any other stuff using the app. WhatsApp's client application is available on both mobile devices and desktop PCs. To use the service, you must have a cellular phone number to sign up for the service.

WhatsApp's key differentiator is that the application makes it feasible to send and receive messages and calls with the prerequisite of just an active internet connection, making it essentially free to use and great for phone calls, and even international calling. We don't have to worry about data plan limits or go through any sign-up costs for using WhatsApp.

While there are several messaging applications which can be compared to WhatsApp, it has a few distinct characteristics, the most essential of which is WhatsApp's cross-platform capabilities.

At once, WhatsApp may appear to be nothing more than a text messaging service, but it is capable of so much more. And here is an overview of WhatsApp's most significant characteristics:

  • End-to-end encryption, a secure communication technology in which only the parties who are chatting may receive the messages, is used by WhatsApp.
  • You may record and send voice messages to one person or group conversations using voice messaging.
  • WhatsApp enables video calls in addition to voice conversations, including a group mode that allows up to eight people to be on the same call.
  • Rather than using email or other document-sharing applications, WhatsApp allows you to share various types of documents, including spreadsheets, PDFs, and slideshows.
  • You can share photos, videos, stickers, and GIFs without stressing about them being distorted or not being downloaded, as may happen when sending SMS messages across various mobile systems and cellular providers.
  • WhatsApp has a desktop version available for both Mac and PC.
  • WhatsApp's specialized business account lets businesses to promote their products and services, and communicate with consumers on a handy and user-friendly platform.

You'll need to download the app on your Android phone or iPhone and register an account before you can use WhatsApp. You'll see that you'll require your phone number to set up an account after installing the application.

WhatsApp, unlike several other services, does not employ unique usernames. Rather, WhatsApp uses a number to identify users. This means that everyone who uses WhatsApp will be included in your list of contacts immediately, making setting up very simple.

Once you're fully operational, familiarise yourself with WhatsApp's capabilities, which range from making international calls to sending audio messages to many many services as written above.


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Whatsapp - Industry

Instant messaging is a sort of internet chat that allows users to send texts in real-time online or using another computer network. Messages are usually sent across 2 or more parties when each user enters text and sends it to the recipient(s), who are all connected to the same network.

Instant messaging varies from email in that interactions take place in real-time or instantly. Most current instant messaging apps employ push technology and include additional features such as emojis, file sharing, bots, Voice over IP, or video chat.

One of the primary reasons businesses are gravitating towards mobile texting is that it saves a lot of time while maintaining a high level of customer service. The explanation for this is straightforward. Customer service over the telephone or in-person are both synchronized activities that need both sides to participate at the same time. You're working with one individual once they're ready to end the engagement, and there's nothing you can do but assist them. Email is asynchronous, meaning it is sent by one individual and read and responded to by another. You can help a lot of people in a short amount of time, but your response may come long after the desire to read has passed.

For most parts of the world, mobile texting is limited to Facebook and WhatsApp. Over 2.5 billion individuals use one of these two platforms, and in some areas, the two applications account for over 90% of the market. Because of Facebook's (Now Meta) popularity, rival messaging groups have sprung up that appear to be the polar opposite of Facebook. Both Telegram and Signal were formed on strong pro-encryption principles, and they constantly criticise Facebook for commercialising communications.

WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging app in the world, with over 150 million users. Both Viber and Telegram have gained popularity in particular nations and areas, including the Middle East, Africa, and South America. In 2021, WhatsApp had the most downloads, however, its overall downloads were down in the year, 2020.

The domination of Facebook and WhatsApp is even more obvious in India, where these two applications account for 92 per cent of all engagements. Telegram and Signal penetration have not made much of a difference in total sessions, despite skyrocketing usage after WhatsApp's privacy change.

WhatsApp - Name, Logo, and Tagline

The name WhatsApp is a pun on 'What's Up'.

WhatsApp tagline says, "Simple. Secure. Reliable messaging."

WhatsApp - Founders

In 2009, former Yahoo employees, Jan Koum and Brian Acton launched WhatsApp.

Founders of WhatsApp - Jan Koum, Brian Acton
Founders of WhatsApp - Jan Koum, Brian Acton

Jan Koum

Jan Koum, WhatsApp's co-founder and former CEO, is in charge of setting WhatsApp's general direction and strategy. Jan is also responsible for designing and interface of WhatsApp's platform, as well as the development of its underlying technology and infrastructure, with his co-founder Brian Acton. Jan moved to California in 1992, from his hometown in Ukraine. Here, in California, he attended San Jose State University but eventually dropped out from there.

Brian Acton

Brian Acton, Signal Technology Foundation's Founder and Executive Chairman, is also the co-founder of WhatsApp. Brian serves as a software developer. He's also a Silicon Valley expert, experienced working at Adobe, Apple, and Yahoo before joining WhatsApp. Brian co-founded WhatsApp in 2009 and helped it grow to over a billion users globally. Brian is a Central Florida native with a BS in Computer Science from Stanford University.

WhatsApp - Startup Story

Jan Koum, the co-founder of WhatsApp, bought an iPhone in January 2009 and immediately recognised the opportunities and prospects of the app market on the App Store, which was just a few months old at the time. He wanted to make an app that showed users' current state besides their names.

They went to Alex Fishman for more information after discussing the proposal with Acton. However, without the assistance of an iOS developer, this concept could not be realised. As a result, Alex recommended them to Igor Solomennikov, a Russian developer whom he discovered on RentACoder.com.

The road to success was not easy at first, but they persevered, as have many other great businesses. On February 24, 2009, Koum successfully developed the iOS application and established 'WhatsApp Inc.' in California.

He chose the name 'WhatsApp' because it sounded very much like what's up, which corresponded to the concept of statuses.

He showed the app to some friends, including Fisherman, but none of them liked it. Additionally, difficulties such as app crashing, battery draining, and other issues left Koum so unhappy that he lost all faith and began looking for new employment.

Apple released the push notifications upgrade in June 2009. This update was created to notify users even when they're not operating an installed application. Jan took advantage of this shift and tweaked Whatsapp so that it sends push alerts to contacts anytime a user modified his status on the service.

Fishman's Russian pals found it amusing and began using it to keep track of their own whereabouts and contact each other with updates like "I woke late" or "Can't chat, I'm at the office."

This function quickly became a conduit for instant text messaging, and users began communicating with one another through status updates, such as someone posting "What's up Jack?" and Jack responding by altering her status.

β€œBeing able to reach somebody halfway across the world instantly, on a device that is always with you, was powerful,” – Jan Koum

WhatsApp 2.0 was released in beta shortly after recognizing the need for an instant messaging service. People were enchanted by the possibility of registering and signing in with merely a phone number and they were able to send messages to friends through the internet rather than through operators' SMS plans, all of it for no extra cost.


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WhatsApp - Vision, and Mission

WhatsApp's mission statement says, β€œBehind every product, the decision is our desire to let people communicate anywhere in the world without barriers.”

The vision of Whatsapp set by mark Zuckerberg is β€œWhatsApp on a path to connecting more than a billion people.”

WhatsApp's mission statement explains why the company was founded and what has kept it going since its inception.

WhatsApp - WhatsApp Business

WhatsApp verified claims that they were developing and evaluating 2 additional business tools in September 2017. The applications were released in January 2018, with different target audiences:

  • Small businesses may use WhatsApp Business.
  • An Enterprise Solution enabling larger enterprises with international client bases, such as e-commerce shops, airlines, and banks, to provide customer care and conversational commerce (e-commerce) over WhatsApp chat utilising live agents or chatbots.

In October 2020, Facebook announced the introduction of per-message price levels for services delivered through the WhatsApp Business API.

WhatsApp - Business Model

WhatsApp generates revenue by charging large and medium businesses for use of its Business Application programming interface. But, before we go any further, have a glance at the company's prior monetization initiatives.

Previously, WhatsApp used to monetize its users through subscriptions. Users have to pay $1 each year to use the app. Given WhatsApp's 2 billion users, that would yield a $2 billion income rate of economic growth.

Facebook dropped the $1 charge two years after the purchase, in 2016. The underlying aim was to keep focused on user growth and assist WhatsApp in becoming the undisputed messaging leader.

That means scrapping any plans to include advertisements in the product. While Facebook's Messenger app has in-app advertising, the company's management has chosen to engage with companies to monetise WhatsApp.

WhatsApp introduced its Business API in 2018, marking the company's first sustained effort to commercialise the programme after its purchase.

Small businesses can utilise the B2B service for free. Larger firms, on the other hand, must pay every time they send a response 24 hours after the first message was delivered. Everything after the 24-hour mark will cost between $0.05 and $0.90 for each message responded.

WhatsApp also collaborates with other companies to supply its API, such as the cloud communication platform Twilio.

WhatsApp - Funding, and Investors

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Jul 1, 2013 Series B $52M Sequoia Capital
Apr 8, 2011 Series A $8M Sequoia Capital
Oct 1, 2009 Seed Round $250K -

WhatsApp - Competitors

WhatsApp's competitors are iMessage (1.3 billion active users), Telegram (500 million active users), Viber (260 million active users), WeChat (1.2 billion active users), Signal (over 50 million active users), and LINE (217 million active users). During WhatsApp disruptions and scandals, both Telegram and Signal have experienced signup increases.


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WhatsApp - Future Plans

WhatsApp is developing additional capabilities for its smartphone and desktop users. This time, the Facebook-backed messaging app is putting a new version of message responses through its paces in preparation for a future WhatsApp beta update for Android handsets. New upgrades and features for iOS and Desktop users are also being tested.

In a recent update, WhatsApp introduced a new plus icon to the reply bar: after touching it, the user will be able to give a reaction to the message by selecting a different emoji.

WhatsApp plans to release a few additional features in the near future. They are providing an option in their versions up to 2.22.3.5 where users will be able to sketch using pens and pencils. The business intends to introduce a variety of pencils that will allow you to sketch on your photos and videos.

Another potential is a function that allows users to blur their photos. This blur photos feature was previously only accessible on WhatsApp for iOS, but now it is being rumoured that it may be accessible for WhatsApp Beta testing on Android phones as well.

The new "Profile Picture" under the message notice is another improvement that we've heard is coming shortly. In prior versions, when someone got a new text message, they could simply see the sender's name. However, they will now be able to see their profile picture next to their name, which is nice since you will know who has contacted you.

WhatsApp is now used by over 1.5 billion individuals in 180 countries. The software has already replaced SMS, MMS, and other outdated communication methods that its target market previously employed. And now, with Facebook's ambition of bringing companies on board, cell carriers' features may become utterly obsolete.

The business has also released a desktop version of the software (WhatsApp Web) to make it more convenient to use on a PC or Mac. Mark Zuckerberg is going all out to push WhatsApp to new heights in the corporate world. With several upgrades flowing out and people being blown away by its capabilities, the company will retain its position in the market.

WhatsApp - FAQs

What does WhatsApp do?

WhatsApp Messenger, or just WhatsApp, is a Meta-owned free, cross-platform centralised instant messaging and voice-over-IP service which is available worldwide.

Who founded WhatsApp?

In 2009, former Yahoo employees, Jan Koum and Brian Acton launched WhatsApp.

Which companies do WhatsApp compete with?

WhatsApp's competitors are iMessage, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, Signal, and LINE.

When was WhatsApp launched?

In 2009, former Yahoo employees, Jan Koum and Brian Acton launched WhatsApp.

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