There’s no argument to the fact that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world of smartphone. Within seconds you can communicate with your friends. And even send them media files. The success of the app rampant. As a matter of fact, there are over one billion WhatsApp users worldwide. Recently, Facebook has acquired WhatsApp to improve their overall user experience. Their popularity is so huge that while buying a new phone people install the messaging app first on their phone. If you compare its success with other messaging apps like Viber, Kik, WeChat then WhatsApp have clearly surpassed them with a huge margin. There may be some disadvantages of messaging app but it has managed to maintain its success over the years. So what contributes to the success of WhatsApp?
Factors that contribute to the success of WhatsApp:
They were the first in the industry:
WhatsApp came in 2009. They were the first in the field of instant messaging. However, some might argue that Skype was also there. But Skype primarily focuses on the PC market. Skype made entry into the mobile sector in the later years. WhatsApp, on the other hand, was purely made for messaging on the go. It was meant for messaging not video calling. And in those days’ people only had the access to 2G internet connections. Only a few had the convenience to enjoy 3G services. WhatsApp used very fewer data to transmit the messages to the recipients. Its utility model was something new and completely different to the customers.
They killed SMS:
When was the last time you used the SMS app on your phone to communicate with someone? Today, the SMS app is used to check OTPs and order confirmations. Almost everyone switched to WhatsApp. In the old day’s telecom companies enjoyed huge profits from SMS. In fact, they enforced words limits to the messages. Furthermore, there was a facility of multimedia content. But WhatsApp changed everything their app for messaging. Now people could send text messages and multimedia content without worrying about any word limit. They just need to enable data plans on their mobile phone. This cost efficiency of the app made it more popular than SMS service.
They only focused messaging as their primary utility:
Most of the apps these days have multiple uses. But WhatsApp came with the motive of messaging app. And till date, their app is meant for messaging (most of it) is meant for communicating with each other. On the other hand, competitors like Skype were also focusing on the calling and video calling market.
Your phone number is your identity:
All the other social messaging apps needed your email account and user names. But WhatsApp only needed your phone number to create your account in WhatsApp. This made for easier to create the account for beginners. As now everyone in your contact list was already in the list of WhatsApp. There was no need to add them by their usernames. Furthermore, this number policy ensured safeguard against fake identity. As it is harder to impersonate someone by buying a whole new phone number.
A Multi-Platform messaging app:
WhatsApp was very clever as it optimized its app for the majority of the operating systems. They focused on Android, iOS, Symbian, Bada, Windows Phone, Blackberry etc. This created more users compared with any other messaging app in the market.
The chain reaction:
The app gained most of its user by the chain reaction of new users. People started to download the app as most of their contacts were using the app. And this led to the chain reaction of new users. On the other hand, people started to leave other messaging apps as they were not used by the majority of their contacts. The ‘free’ factor of the app also created a pool of users around the world.
Feature rich app:
In the beginning, they were only focusing on basic texting. But over the years they have introduced a ton of features to their app. Their group chat facility is responsible for grabbing a ton of users into the app. And in the later year, WhatsApp also introduced voice calling and video calling to their app. This led to the decrease in Skype users.
A mobile app:
From its inception, the company focused on mobile devices. WhatsApp was meant to be a pocket-friendly app. An app that you could use anywhere and anytime with the help of a data connection. On the other hand, other messaging services at the time of its launch were focusing on the PC market. But in the modern times, there has been a massive boom in the smartphone market. And the PC market has seen a gradual decrease in sales. This fact also increased the number of users. However, in the recent times, WhatsApp was also introduced into the PC market. Now you can view your WhatsApp messages remotely on your PC as well.
No ad policy:
You must get annoyed when you see some ads while you visit some websites. For this reason, WhatsApp never enforced ads to its user since its launch. They know well that people are annoyed by the ads. That’s why in the early days WhatsApp asked for a yearly subscription which was also lifted after Facebook. Therefore, by keeping ads aside they made people happy.
Reliable and instant:
There’s no denying the fact that WhatsApp is an instant messenger. And by the word ‘instant’ I mean blazing fast by any standard. Even today most of the messaging apps take more time to send a message. While WhatsApp works pretty fine even with the most pathetic networks. Furthermore. The instant nature of the app has managed to make it popular even in the business world. As email takes more to time to send and read. While sending documents and media through WhatsApp is blazing fast. WhatsApp came in the time when everyone was lacking the speed of communication. No other competitor was offering the same reliability and features like WhatsApp in those days.