WhatsApp is one of the most historic stories in the history of the internet. Founders Brian Acton & Jan Koum worked at Yahoo once upon a time. Their application for jobs in Facebook was rejected & ironically, in 2014 Facebook handed $19 billion to them to acquire their app WhatsApp which bossed over a billion users and 450 million monthly active users, which till date remains the largest ever acquisition. Derived from the common phrase used to interact “what’s up”, Koum & Acton managed to convince 5 colleagues of their former employers Yahoo & a Russian coder from RentACoder.com, they managed to raise $250,000 and launched WhatsApp in 2009.
The initial programming work of the app was outsourced, but the founders decided to design the logo themselves. In 2009, the app store from apple was relatively new but Koum saw huge future in that. He saw how apps can change the way people use their phones. In the beginning, the app was designed to just show status next to a person’s name in the contact list. The status could be busy, available, battery low etc.
How does WhatsApp Work?
November 2009 was when WhatsApp was launched for the first time on the app store for iPhone users. Two months later, it was introduced for BlackBerry phones as well. After 9 years, it is hard to find a person who is not using WhatsApp. Rick Reed, a software engineer at WhatsApp explains that the app works peer to peer. It does not connect two devices. Instead, it sends the messages to the recipient’s server. The server sends it to the recipient’s device.
It started with a text messaging service. You didn’t have to activate a pack to send unlimited texts. All you needed was an active internet & this app. This app would create a profile for you based on your phone number & would enable you to send texts for free via the internet. Conversations were pretty much one way on emails & text messages. Chatting platforms like yahoo messenger & other messengers were on computers only & BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) was limited to BlackBerry phone users only. This gave WhatsApp a large field to play on. It won’t be an exaggeration if we say that WhatsApp has literally changed the way people communicate.
When Apple launched push notifications, WhatsApp was quick to launch text messaging services and sighting the popularity of the app, in December 2009, Whatsapp enabled users to send pictures to each other as well. Today, you can send unlimited text messages, pictures, videos, geographic locations & many more things via WhatsApp. You can also create a group of selected contacts. You can make phone calls & video calls on WhatsApp. You can also use WhatsApp from your computer by scanning a barcode.