WhatsApp Turns 10: Let's Take A Closer Look At 'The WhatsApp Story' So Far

Written By Tanmay Patange | Mumbai | Published:


  • 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

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.

# February 2009 | WhatsApp was born

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.

# June 2010 | WhatsApp introduced Location-sharing

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.

# February 2011 | WhatsApp introduced Group 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.

# August 2013 | WhatsApp introduced voice messages

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.

# April 2014 | 500 million users

WhatsApp reached 500 million users six months before joining the social media giant Facebook. 

# October 2014 | Facebook acquired WhatsApp

Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion. WhatsApp also happens to be Facebook’s largest acquisition till the date.

# November 2014 | Then came Read receipts

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.

# January 2015 | WhatsApp Web 

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.

# February 2016 | 1 billion users every month

WhatsApp reached the milestone of 1 billion users every month.

# April 2016 | End-to-end encryption

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.

# May 2016 | WhatsApp desktop app

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.

# November 2016 | WhatsApp introduced video calling

Towards the end of 2016, WhatsApp introduced the much-anticipated video calling feature to take on Skype and Google Hangouts.

# February 2017 | WhatsApp Status

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.

# July 2017 | 1 billion daily users

In the mid-2017, WhatsApp reached the milestone of 1 billion users every day.

# January 2018 | 1.5 billion monthly users

At the beginning of the year 2018, WhatsApp reached another milestone of 1.5 billion users every month.

# January 2018 | WhatsApp Business

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.

# July 2018 | Group calling

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.

# October 2018 | WhatsApp Stickers

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.

# February 2019 | Happy 10th anniversary

Finally, WhatsApp turned 10 this week. Happy Birthday, WhatsApp!