WhatsApp has been created by two former employees of Yahoo and launched back in 2009, but five years later, it was bought by Facebook for around $22 billion, when it had 600 million users. Since then, the application has gained $300 million more active users and new features have been added every once in a while.
WhatsApp is a great application for smartphones and it has a web client for computers. It’s available worldwide and according to Sandvine, in Africa, it accounts for almost eleven percent of all traffic from and to mobile devices. On WhatsApp, the users send messages, share pictures, videos, voice records and their location, and since February, first the Android users were given the possibility to make free voice calls to their WhatsApp friends, but at first, this feature had a few problems, consuming too much mobile data and slipping echoes and random endings during calls. Meanwhile, the developers have improved this feature and the fact that the users are paying only for the consumed data is very convenient. WhatsApp isn’t perfect, but it’s perfectible. The developers need to increase the file size limit from 16MB, to add the voice calling feature and they’re now working on the share documents feature.
Every few days, new beta versions are released for Android, while iOS is receiving updates more rarely. In the US, WhatsApp is currently the most used application, and in the developing world, people prefer to install messaging applications which work nicely low-bandwidth, so they need WhatsApp.
In Africa, the application is gaining popularity as now it accounts for 11 percent of mobile traffic, while in the Middle East is at 3 percent. Zuckerberg owns another application called Instagram, which, together with WhatsApp and Facebook, it controls almost quarter of all traffic in the Middle East. However, let’s not forget that Facebook Messenger has a total of 700 million active users, while Instagram is used by over 400 million people. In the US, Facebook accounts for over 16 percent of mobile traffic and it’s continuously growing, as well.
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