WhatsApp may not work on your phone soon: The origin story of WhatsApp
WhatsApp is one of the biggest messaging company with over 1 billion people using the platform for texts, media sharing, voice/video calling. This means, a staggering 1 in 7 people use it on a daily basis.
WhatsApp is cutting off its support for the following users to focus on platforms that are more current and widely used:
- iOS 6 or lower
- Android 2.2 Froyo or lower
- Windows 7
- Nokia users with S40, Symbian 60 OS and Blackberry 10 users have gotten a little relief and have until June 30th, 2017 to upgrade their device/OS for continued use of WhatsApp.
Now that you’re pondering on whether or not you should upgrade you device, have a look at WhatsApp’s journey from the humble beginnings to its worldwide dominance.
The origins of WhatsApp
Jan Koum, one of the co founders of WhatsApp lived with his mother and grandmother in a small apartment. With his hardwork and dedication, he bagged a scholarship to San Jose State University, and went on to work at Yahoo as an engineer where he met a fellow colleague and futue business partner, Brian Acton.
The two worked at Yahoo for about nine years before heading out together. Interestingly, both of them applied at Facebook for a job but didn’t have any luck.
Inspiration from iPhone
The two ex-Yahoo employees bought an iPhone in late 2008 and were immediately blown away by its app store. They soon realised that it had a lot of potential and the industry could help rocket their growth. It was after this ‘Eureka’ moment that they started working on the beta version of WhatsApp.
In 2009, after being rejected by a few companies, Jan Koum and Brian Acton jointly created a messaging app for iPhone. The app instantly became a hit for its ease of use and the fact that no registration of any sorts were required to use it.
A not so smooth sailing
Koum chose the name ‘WhatsApp’, a word play on What’s up!
One of the first ideation of the app was deciding where exactly people would have their statuses next to their names.
After months of beta testing, the app just wasn’t taking off and Koum was almost about to abandon ship. Acton kept him persuaded to keep on improving the beta and finally in November 2009, WhatsApp was officially launched on the Apple App Store.
Money and future prospects
The app was made in Russia without any outside investment. There was a charge on first time WhatsApp downloads on iPhone and later, an yearly subscription when the app came to the Android App Store.
In February 2014, Facebook was looking to expand its portfolio of a connected world. After several rounds of venture capital financing, WhatsApp became a Facebook company. At 19 Billion USD, the deal went down as one of the biggest acquisitions in the industry.
WhatsApp has now evolved into a fully fledged instant messaging service with media sharing and voice/video calling. The active user base of the app is 1 billion and growing!
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