WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging app that allows transferring text messages, video and audio files. It’s supported by a large number of platforms.
WhatsApp review. Major outlines:
- WhatsApp was created in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton, two former Yahoo employees, who decided to make up something of their own.
- Being a cross-platform, the messenger app works on iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS, Nokia Services 40, Symbian, Asha, Windows Phone.
- You have to pay to use the app. The first year is free. After that $0.99 is taken off your account annually.
- WhatsApp allows sending text messages, transferring audio and video files.
- The calls feature is so far implemented only on devices that work on the iOS, Android, and BlackBerry 10 platforms. The app requires Internet connection for calling.
- You can create chat groups with up to 50 contacts.
- Consumes little traffic. It’s hard to use more than 1 MB on a daily basis, unless you make calls.
- The total user base by March 2015 estimated as 1 bn people.
- The messaging app is the most popular in 121 countries.
- In November 2014 WhatsApp got over the 100 mn figure of downloads on Android devices, according to Google Play statistics.
- It transfers 50 bn messages daily, according to the March 2015 data.
- The app uses Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, previously known as Jabber.
- The app has been many times criticized for lacking an encryption algorithm.
- Standard sign up procedure. The app uses the phone book in your smartphone as the contact list and attaches the account to the phone number.
- WhatsApp was not developed for PC, so it does not have a desktop version. It exists only as a mobile app.
- The app faces serious security and confidentiality issues – see details below.
- The app is monetized only thanks to annual donations. It does not contain ads and, according to the developers, it never will.
- The messenger does not have a limit for the number of characters in a message, so it quickly replaced SMS on many people’s gadgets.
- The app allows restoring the deleted messages. To do that, you have to delete the app and reinstall it. WhatsApp will offer you to restore message history.
- WhatsApp supports emojis and stickers.
- You can set a profile photo, online statuses and adjust privacy settings.
- The app has a blacklist of contacts.
- WhatsApp supports push-notifications. The feature can be enabled in the settings.
- The app can be attached to a new phone number instead of making a new account, should you lose the SIM Card.
- The app supports backup copy of messages.
- WhatsApp can be protected with a password.
- You are allowed to send files under 15 MB.
Events to do with the messaging app
In 2012 losses from the decline in mobile operators’ profits amounted to dozens million dollars. All this was thanks to WhatsApp, which pushed out SMS.
On 19 February 2014 Facebook bought the company for $19 bn.
In May 2011 there was a big scandal regarding correspondence security. Messages had not been encrypted, so they all could be read if one chose to follow the pathway of packets. In September 2011 the developing team patched that security bug.
On 6 January 2012 WhatsStatus.net website was launched. It allowed changing the online status of any user, provided you knew their mobile number. This bug was eliminated on 9 February 2012 by blocking whatsappstatus.net using its PI-address.
In 2012 the developers stated that they began to encrypt messages in the app; however, they did not specify the encryption method they used.
On 14 September 2012 The H website indicated how one could hack WhatsApp using WhatsAppAPI. This website let you steal almost any account. Within a week the source code of WhatsAppAPI was made unavailable.
Serious security and confidentiality issues resulted in a mutual Dutch and Canadian investigation. Subject of the investigation was the fact that the app copied the phone book in order to identify the users who have WhatsApp installed. As part of this, the data of absolutely all contacts was sent to the server, even of those who were not WhatsApp users.
Even in spite of security bugs that big, the messaging app remains popular and keeps developing. Users’ trust is the major factor that indicates a high degree of an app’s convenience and popularity.