WhatsApp, being the highly popular instant messaging app across India and worldwide, has billions of users. But did you know your favourite, go-to messaging app turned ten years old this week. We take a look at the timeline that contributed to WhatsApp’s tremendous success in these ten years.
WhatsApp came into existence in 2009, courtesy of two former employees of Yahoo! Jan Koum and Brian Acton. Upon releasing the potential of the app industry on the App Store, Koum incorporated WhatsApp in 2009. At one point when Koum had almost given up on the app, Acton encouraged him to wait for a few months. Towards the end of 2009, Acton persuaded five ex-Yahoo! friends to invest $250,000 in seed funding and granted himself co-founder status.
Location-sharing was perhaps the first major upgrade to WhatsApp. In 2010, WhatsApp allowed users to share their Google Maps location with their contacts over chats.
WhatsApp introduced group chats in 2011 that continues to remain one of the highly-acclaimed features till the date. Group chats have become an integral part of WhatsApp over the years. Group chats make it easier for WhatsApp users to communicate with each other at the same time.
WhatsApp went a step beyond traditional text messages and came up with the idea of voice messages in 2013. Voice message feature lets users record their voice clips and send to their contacts over chats.
WhatsApp reached 500 million users six months before joining the social media giant Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion. WhatsApp also happens to be Facebook’s largest acquisition till the date.
Within a month after joining Facebook, WhatsApp introduced read receipts that redefined the whole chatting experience in the true sense. WhatsApp Read receipts feature helps senders understand whether recipients have opened their message.
WhatsApp introduced WhatsApp Web version to let users access WhatsApp on their desktop or laptop. Since it’s a web version, users need not install a separate standalone app. Infact, WhatsApp Web version syncs with your smartphone, resulting in dependency between the two devices.
WhatsApp reached the milestone of 1 billion users every month.
WhatsApp introduced 256-bit End-to-end encryption for WhatsApp chats, voice and video calls with an aim to safeguard your messages. The End-to-end encryption encourages and strengthens a secure communication between the sender and the receiver.
WhatsApp introduced a standalone desktop app for Windows and macOS. But in a nutshell, it houses WhatsApp web version in a desktop app framework. Meaning, it still requires users to sync their Android device to WhatsApp’s desktop app using a QR code.
Towards the end of 2016, WhatsApp introduced the much-anticipated video calling feature to take on Skype and Google Hangouts.
WhatsApp announced Status feature that lets users post a status that remains visible to their contacts for no longer than 24 hours. This feature bears a striking resemblance to the likes of Snapchat.
In the mid-2017, WhatsApp reached the milestone of 1 billion users every day.
At the beginning of the year 2018, WhatsApp reached another milestone of 1.5 billion users every month.
Around the same time when WhatsApp reached the milestone of 1.5 billion monthly users, WhatsApp announced a new, standalone, enterprise-facing app called WhatsApp. The whole idea behind WhatsApp Business is to let companies and businesses connect with their customers.
In the mid-2018, WhatsApp expanded its video and voice calling features to group calling, allowing multiple users to connect with each other over voice or video calls in real time.
Towards the end of 2018, WhatsApp introduced stickers, which was an instant hit during the festive season of Diwali in India. People were asking for WhatsApp stickers for quite a while.
Finally, WhatsApp turned 10 this week. Happy Birthday, WhatsApp!