Following the transformation from joint families to nuclear ones, even the digital space is heading towards close-knit communities.
It started with Google when abundant content was available for consumers to Facebook which structured the ides of ‘friends’ to Twitter which bought ‘followers’ and now its WhatsApp. Currently, over 800 million people who actively use WhatsApp on a monthly basis.
So, what does WhatsApp do?
It basically is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. It was initially founded in 2009, by former Yahoo employees by Brian Acton and Jan Koum. Its CEO is presently Jan Koum, an American internet entrepreneur and computer engineer and also included in the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans at position 62. In February 2014, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook US$19 Billion.
Whatsapp, satisfying the needs of on-the-go generation has transformed mobile messaging, but what’s next? So, here are few updates on what WhatsApp is planning to do.
- Calling option: Definitely a clever move for beat the competition and to acclimatize with the changing market. It might steal the thunder of one of the most voted apps called Tango, which provides mid-call games as a part of its package. At the same time, WhatApp promises that live one-on-one calls are on the cards.
- B2C messaging: WhatsApp is not going to lose its consumers by the lack of reaching out, engaging with, and monetizing their customers on mobile. This phenomenon would be driven by Facebook’s Businesses on Messenger initiative. This would help the companies to inform targeted consumers about respective order confirmations, shipping updates, etc. At the same time, it would garner trust through its permission-based functionality, where brands would not be allowed to send messages without getting the needed approval from the consumer’s side. In short, the “no ads, no games, no gimmicks” mantra would prevail.
- Multi-platform: Though, the WhatsApp is not fully equipped with WhatsApp for iOS, the consumers using other platforms like Windows Phone, Blackberry, Android and some Nokia devices can still use WhatsApp Web on personal computers.
- Cross-Platform Communication: It is quite predictable, that WhatsApp is going to follow the model of SkypeOut and ViberOut. Thus, in the coming days, it would be easier for voice and video calls to those consumers who are not currently using WhatsApp, through apps, landlines and even mobile phones.
But then, what about the business model?
Well, to be quite visionary, it is well thought game being played. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated, “We believe that once we get to being a service that has 1 billion, 2 billion, maybe even 3 billion people one day, that there are many clear ways that we can monetize.” And the competition is getting tougher, with WhatsApp for about $10 billion, and Zuckerberg beat his main rival to the punch. WhatsApp’s biggest competitor, Viber Media, sold for $900 million to Japanese internet company Rakuten in 2014.
But what we need to wait and watch is that how Facebook would recover its $19 billion from WhatsApp. Clearly, if it’s advertising what you are looking for, that’s not the game here.
Wait and watch the new trend that crops up and quite immediately, it is going to change how we perceive the potential of WhatsApp.