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Who's On WhatsApp, and Why? 280

theodp writes "In announcing its $16B acquisition of WhatsApp, Facebook confessed it had very little data on WhatsApp's estimated 450 million users. Asked about the user data, Facebook CFO David Ebersman said, 'WhatsApp has good penetration across all demographics but you are not asked your age when you sign up.' Wall Street analysts concerned by Ebersman's answer won't be comforted by GeekWire reporter Taylor Soper's (non-scientific) poll of UW students, which suggested that WhatsApp may not exactly be BMOC (Big Messenger on Campus). 'I don't use it at all,' replied one UW junior. 'I've heard of it but I have so many other things I do online that it would just be another time-consuming thing. I use Facebook or texting to talk to people.' WhatsApp did fare better in a survey of Soper's Facebook network, where responders said they used WhatsApp mostly for communicating internationally and in groups. So, are you or someone you know using WhatsApp, and what's the motivation for doing so?"
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Who's On WhatsApp, and Why?

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  • my daughter (Score:5, Funny)

    by MancunianMaskMan ( 701642 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:05AM (#46322289)
    she's 16 and uses whatsapp all the time because it's cheaper than SMS. I guess they get their demographics by analysing word frequency histograms, age being inversely proportioal to LPS ("like" per sentence)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
      Your phone company sucks. I'm in Canada, and I get unlimited messaging included in my plan. Even their cheapest plan of $20 per month includes unlimited texting, and unlimited local calls.
      • I'm on Three in the UK and I get charged 1p per MB. Assuming each message is 1KB in size (lolwut?) that means I get charged 1p per 1000 messages. It doesn't matter if my friends and family are spread all over the world as the charge is the same. No mobile plan comes close.
      • Maybe, but that is still $20 upfront.

        My plan is 10 Euro and includes internet. (Reduced speed from 500MB/month on, which does not effect whatsup)

        Or to be exact: those 10 Euros are the additional charge for a plan that otherwise would have no monthly costs at all, but includes free calls to landlines nationwide. That's a bonus for having landline/DSL at the same phone company as my mobile, but (except the included calls) is quite on par with what else you can get here.

      • Oh.. one more thing... do those "unlimited" texts include international?

      • Re:my daughter (Score:5, Insightful)

        by felipou ( 2748041 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @11:16AM (#46323329)
        I'm in Brazil, and yes, my phone company sucks. I have to pay extra for unlimited SMS (and this is recent, a few years ago SMS was absurdly expensive).

        I don't care how cheap it is (around 4 dollars), everyone I know already has WhatsApp and I already have a data plan, so why should I pay more?

        I also used to use iMessage, but everyone I know now uses WhatsApp. Here in Brazil *everyone* uses WhatsApp.

        I don't know exactly why, since everyone already had Facebook when WhatsApp got popular here. I guess, since it presented itself like so, people see WhatsApp more like SMS, and not like IM. If I stay online at Facebook Messenger for 10 minutes, 5 random friends will start talking to me. On the other hand, on WhatsApp I mostly receive group messages, nobody talks directly to me using it.
        • I have to pay extra for unlimited SMS (and this is recent, a few years ago SMS was absurdly expensive).

          SMS at almost any price is absurdly expensive. SMS is about the closest thing in the known universe to pure profit. The primary cost of it is administering the billing system.

    • Re:my daughter (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ameen.ross ( 2498000 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:57AM (#46322637)

      I find it irritating when people fall for WhatsApp's propaganda that they are a "free" SMS replacement. They're not! You need an internet connection to use it just like any other internet messaging application. Newsflash; you pay a subscription fee for internet connections. And mobile internet connections come with quotas.

      Granted, if you already pay for a mobile internet connection, IM will nearly always be cheaper than SMS. But that, too, goes for any IM app.

      PS: I'm waiting for Kontalk to become usable before recommending it as the alternative to WhatsApp.

      • Given that they charge US$1 per year, and that the data usage on text is very low, I wouldn't complain much, since as the number of messages tends towards infinity, the cost per message tends towards zero. They may not be free in the pedantic way, but for all practical purposes, for a heavy user, they are as close as you're going to get.

      • by Xest ( 935314 )

        In the UK almost every plan seems to come with an unusuablly high or unlimited amount of SMS anyway which is still cheaper than the $1 a year Whatsapp costs.

        I use it because I have that one friend who also insists on using it and nothing else. Maybe I should just stop speaking to him and save myself $1 a year.

        The only actual benefit I can see to it is for images which are cheaper and seem to work more reliably than MMS.

      • My family got WhatsApp while traveling in Europe, with no data plan on our US phones. Since most hotels have free WiFi, it was the low cost way for my wife and I to communicate with our kids when we split up for a week to different countries.

        Back home, it is still being used, as it is handier to group people than SMS/MMS... I was thinking of paying for it when my free year was up this summer, but now that FB bought it, I will drop it. I am not a FB user.
    • by u38cg ( 607297 )
      The striking thing about the Whatsapp userbase is how damned active it is. You have 450m users, about 75% active, sending 50 billion messages a day. That's ~150 messages per user per day. If you can't mine that for value you're doing something very wrong. The second point is Whatsapp does charge users - 99c per year. So a reasonably stable cash flow in the millions with a growing userbase.
  • The only thing I know about WhatsApp is that for a while I was getting a lot of mail that was either spam from it or from scammers pretending to be it.

  • I only heard of it because of its acquisition last week, and haven't used it.
    • Same here, but people are telling me that while it's unpopular in the US there are many countries where it's extremely popular. I guess it's the Sony MiniDisc of IM, a runaway success, but considered a failure by citizens of the most powerful country on Earth because it just didn't take off there.

  • In South America (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:08AM (#46322313)

    I'm a 20 year-old in a South American country. Here WhatsApp is the chatting program of choice and I'm on the following groups:
    -One group for the guys on my university classroom
    -One group for the close friends
    -One group for friends living on different states (Dota 2 players)
    -Another group for other friends

    Usually young men also have groups for exchanging NSFW pics of female friends and ex-girlfriends.

  • by Neon Spiral Injector ( 21234 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:10AM (#46322331)

    I'm a 5-digit /. user, i.e. an old guy, but I do use WhatsApp. Only with international friends, though. Even then I tend to use Facebook messenger, but there were a few people who wanted nothing to do with Facebook, and they were actually the ones who pushed me to WhatsApp. I wonder what will happen with them now.

  • In the Netherlands.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ellep ( 1746938 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:13AM (#46322339)
    Almost everyone I know that has a smartphone (~80% of the people I know) uses WhatsApp for messaging one-to-one and for groups.
    • I second that. Whatsapp is the number one killer app for smartphones over here. Facebook messenger has little chance of gaining any meaningful market share because of whatsapp.
    • by Lennie ( 16154 )

      You forgot to mention: the price of SMS Texting in the Netherlands is one of the highest in the world.

  • Developing Countries (Score:5, Informative)

    by WoKKiee ( 238523 ) <wkitching&gmail,com> on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:13AM (#46322341)

    I'm a South African and most of my friends and family use WhatsApp. In South Africa, as in many other developing countries, SMS text messages are expensive and WhatsApp is used to save costs. BlackBerries are also (still) popular here - free BBM was a main reason for its popularity. WhatsApp's cross-platform capability (iOS, Android, BB and even Symbian) makes is a very attractive option.

    Please see the article below: []

    • I am also a South African, and have noticed that whenever I take a number for business reasons, their status shows up in whatsapp. I end up using it for all sorts of work related stuff (send a quick picture of a panel/PLC etc). Much easier than email...

    • Agreed, we pay for each SMS, and BBM got us hooked on near-limitless chatting for cents, but was platform exclusive. With whatsapp no such problem.

      But also:
      Sending media/voice-notes is much slicker than MMS.
      WhatsApp is a central place I can contact 99% of my contacts, they're not spread accross bbm/facebook/msn/hangouts/jabber/skype/blah blah blah. Around here, everyone has whatsapp, including my mom, dad, and grandfather... they have none of the others above.
      With this kind of penetration and ease-of-use, g

  • Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Warbothong ( 905464 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:14AM (#46322349) Homepage

    I use email.

    • by Nyder ( 754090 )

      I use email.

      Telegraph was good enough for my ancestors, it's good enough for me.

      Might help if I actually learned Morse Code though....

    • Re:Nope (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:12AM (#46322745)

      count me in as one of those who does not 'get it' and still uses email.

      email is pretty much instant these days. and what delay there is, gives me time to read the mail and reply to it without someone seeing me typing and backspacing, etc.

      so yeah, I don't get it. I don't get IM and I don't get SMS. text email works, everyone has an email addr (not everyone has IM or wants to) and email is a single user interface I need to learn and use.

      • everyone has an email addr (not everyone has IM or wants to)

        This. If I have to decide whether to agree to some EULA/contract/etc. before I'm allowed to talk to my friends, I will refuse to participate. Not only do I disagree with such false dilemmas, but I certainly don't want my 'contactability' held to ransom to encourage others to participate.

        PS: Yes, I do use XMPP, but it's usage is so low that it's only really useful for work contacts (at my last two jobs everyone had a work XMPP account). Also, before anyone mentions it, /. allows anonymous cowards.

  • by RenHoek ( 101570 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:16AM (#46322351) Homepage

    I use it, it's pretty popular in the Netherlands. However I am looking for an alternative.. But not Telegram (which seems to be picking up a lot of refuguees).

    I would love something open source, so I'm going to have a look at Wazapp (a.ka. OpenWhatsapp). Anybody have any experience with it?

    • by myspys ( 204685 )

      If a new app (Wazapp) can't provide high res screenshots on its homepage, then it's probably not offering the best deal in town.

    • Why not Telegram, then?

    • by rvw ( 755107 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:41AM (#46322537)

      I would love something open source, so I'm going to have a look at Wazapp (a.ka. OpenWhatsapp). Anybody have any experience with it?

      You're confusing two things. OpenWhatsApp is an OSS implementation of the WA app. It uses their network, and they still get your data. The only difference is that you don't use the official app, which can have its advantages, like making sure that it doesn't misuse personal data.

      Wazapp is another app, another network, and it may be open source, but that still doesn't mean that you can trust them with your data.

      • I would love something open source, so I'm going to have a look at Wazapp (a.ka. OpenWhatsapp). Anybody have any experience with it?

        You're confusing two things. OpenWhatsApp is an OSS implementation of the WA app. It uses their network, and they still get your data. The only difference is that you don't use the official app, which can have its advantages, like making sure that it doesn't misuse personal data.

        Wazapp is another app, another network, and it may be open source, but that still doesn't mean that you can trust them with your data.

        What data does a messaging app require other than your chosen username and your IP address? I mean okay, your public key would be nice too so that end-to-end encryption can be implemented...

    • Why not Telegram? I've just closed my WhatsApp account and moved to telegram. Did I miss something?
  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:20AM (#46322375) Journal
    Not too many years ago, FB was a cash poor company with a lot of users.... the only question was how to monetize the company.

    WhatsApp has recently overcome a similar dilemma, albeit with a differing strategy.

    Zuck has exhibited an ability to transition from product creator to successful CEO, so it's entirely plausible he knows what he's doing here. Of course, by default, it's also plausible he doesn't.

    • He creates/offers/buys a free service that by its nature can learn a lot about its users. He then gradually relaxes privacy assurances and changes the sharing defaults to "we can do whatever we want with information we collect about you", and sells the info to advertisers.

      Anybody who thinks this won't happen to WhatsApp hasn't been paying attention.

  • I can tell you why I don't use WhatsApp.

    While a competent mobile-oriented IM is a good idea in general, I intensely dislike the fact that they went with binding your account to your phone number. I juggle several SIM cards, and that's a no-no in WhatsApp's book [].

    I infrequently use Kik for the same purpose as WhatsApp, especially linking its detailed message delivery status, but their recent changes to TOS and embedding a browser in-app makes me wary to continue.

    • by rvw ( 755107 )

      I can tell you why I don't use WhatsApp.

      While a competent mobile-oriented IM is a good idea in general, I intensely dislike the fact that they went with binding your account to your phone number. I juggle several SIM cards, and that's a no-no in WhatsApp's book [].

      I really dislike the link to my phone number, plus them uploading my contacts. I use a different phone number for WA only. So the sim that is linked to WA is not in the phone that uses WA. Then I block the contacts from WA, but that block hasn't worked always, so they got what they wanted anyway.

  • I don't use it for anyone else and no one else I know uses it. It is a handy app, but with Facebook acquiring it now I'm seeking alternatives. I used to use fb messenger but uninstalled it because I'm sick of being tracked and sold.
  • by lvangool ( 1393983 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:25AM (#46322399)
    ...lots of people aged 12-50 are using it as their main texting and groupchat app. I have friends, family and colleagues in there and everybody I know on it uses it extensively. Also, anytime there is some event (be it sports, nights out, bachelor parties, holidays) or any type of real-life group is established (roommates, classmates, families, close friends, fraternities), WhatsApp is there to facilitate. By the way, any comparison to traditional texting is ludicrous: with recorded voice, "I am here" GPS location with maps integration, multimedia sharing, etc. Just like most of its competitors, I'm sure.
    • by Viol8 ( 599362 )

      "...lots of people aged 12-50 are using it as their main texting and groupchat app"

      When you say lots presumably you mean people you know. I live in europe and I'd never even heard of it until farcebook bought it, never mind used it.

  • by bev_tech_rob ( 313485 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:26AM (#46322405)
    I have seen the app in the Google Play store, but since I have unlimited messaging from Verizon, felt no need to use it. The app appears to be more popular overseas than in the States due to the high charges that foreign wireless providers charge for SMS. This app allows users to avoid those charges. It looks like this is a play by FB to tap into the large international user base of this app, imo...
  • Dominican Republic (Score:5, Informative)

    by luiss ( 217284 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:26AM (#46322407)
    Just providing my own anecdote to the conversation. Seems like the entire* country of Dominican Republic is using WhatsApp. From what I recall, BlackBerry Messenger had become the IM app of choice. People saw it as "free SMS". Everyone wanted a BlackBerry, just for the messenger app. Long after RIM had lost most of it's marketshare here in the US, it was still going strong there. Eventually though, they couldn't ignore the iPhone anymore, and WhatsApp was one of the few IM apps that worked across the phones. Now, black berry is dead, and iPhones have iMessage, but WhatApp has momentum, and much better group messaging features. I personally don't know of anyone in the US that uses WhatsApp without there having been a need to communicate which someone internationally that has it. Stop looking for users in the US. That's not where the WhatApps users are.
    • I’m a European expat working in Malaysia. I never heard of WhatsApp before getting into the country one year ago. Now I’m using it every single day. It seems the whole country gave up on SMS and using nothing but WhatsApp for everything from photo sharing to group messaging.
  • by Andrewkov ( 140579 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:27AM (#46322415)

    Someone invited me to use it a few months ago. A quick google search turned up some horror stories about security problems and privacy issues (some people reported that it downloads and spams your phone's entire contact list), so I took a pass on downloading it.

    Probably right up Facebook's alley, though.. :)

  • by satuon ( 1822492 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:30AM (#46322433)

    So will WhatsApp bring more than 16 billion in net profit throughout its lifetime?

    Because that would be needed to break even on the price they paid, that, or to find someone else to pay 16B or more. At 450 million people, that would require each one of their users to pay $35 dollars for 16B dollars revenue, not profit. If their users are 7 billion instead (the entire world population), that would require $2-3 dollars from each one.

    I have WhatsApp installed on my smartphone, and the only reason I use it is to NOT PAY for sending SMS messages. That's what their user-base is - people who don't want to pay. How they plan on getting more than $35 from each and every one, is beyond me.

    • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:36AM (#46322491) Homepage

      Don't look for logic in these sorts of aquisitions anymore - its another tech bubble getting ready to burst. Its a pity Zuckerberg couldn't have taken a leaf out of Bill Gate's book and used that 16 billion for something more productive instead of buying another flash in the pan dot.bomb

      • Don't look for logic in these sorts of aquisitions anymore - its another tech bubble getting ready to burst.

        Nothing is bursting. Capital suction has little or no effect in the digital world these days. No one cares if you burn a million or a billion. It's about data and market share, revenue be damned. Do you think running whatsapp indefinitely cost any more than a crew or two of developers and some rackspace in some datacenter nowadays? Twitter is run by 13 people. 13 people!
        They don't care about revenue,

        • Twitter is run by 13 people. 13 people!

          And Twitter has yet to turn a penny of profit so I'm not sure what your point is. If they can't turn a profit with overhead that low I would be rather concerned if I were an investor.

          They don't care about revenue, they want your data and they want lock-in. And they'll trade lock-in for data and omnipresence at any time.

          Yeah we heard all the same BS arguments back around 1998-2001. They were bullshit then and they are bullshit now.

          We are moving head on into a post-scarcity economy, at least in terms of digital connectivity...

          "Post scarcity"? You've been watching too much Star Trek.

          The purchase might bomb, yes, but it might as well just turn out to be a real bargain. And if it bombs it won't even do a blip on FBs bank account.

          If you think a potential $19 billion write-down is just a "blip", you really don't understand finance. This is an investment that even under the rosiest sc

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:53AM (#46322611) Homepage
      I'm guessing FB sees it more about data mining and the ad revenue (the product) than the actual users (the raw material). If they tack an brief ad on the end of each message and charge for a premium ad-free service, then it becomes more a case of how many messages do WhatsApp users send to each each other that we can make money off. Even charging the advertiser something ridiculous like 0.01c/message, given the rate typical teens messages each other that's going to add up pretty quickly, although I doubt it's going to ever add up to $16b though - especially if they really are shedding users at the rates implied in the tech press.
      • by satuon ( 1822492 )

        When did they start with the $1 fee? Has one year passed yet? I.e. are there users who have already had to stop using WhatsApp or start paying? I would be interested to see the conversion rate, how many start paying vs how many drop out.

        • After one year you're definitly hooked, so I'd expect a very high conversion rate. That 1$ is still much cheaper than paying for SMS again. (Or being out of the loop because your friends keep on using WA)

    • Also, could Facebook have just built a similar service for less than $16 billion? How hard would it be for facebook to set up a system that allows you to do exactly what WhatsApp does?
      • by satuon ( 1822492 )

        WhatsApp already has 450 million users, if Facebook were to roll out their own app, they would have 0 users, and would be trying to take away from an incumbent. WhatsApp didn't have to take them away from anyone, they had first-mover advantage.

        • Not quite. Facebook DID roll out a similar app, Facebook chat. It does basically the same, but also works in a regular PC browser. (but comes bundles into the FB app on phones)

    • by invid ( 163714 )
      Once you attain a certain level of wealth, money is no longer money. It's just weight that you throw around.
  • I was using the groups aspect of it until it started hassling me every few hours to upgrade it... but the permissions had changed to wanting access to pretty much everything on the phone.

    Uninstalled. Not missed.

  • I have a couple of cousins, one in Mumbai and another in Singapore. The Mumbai guy was very impressed and persuaded me to install WhatsApp. I could not see why I would use WhatsApp over email when I have a data plan on a smartphone. Some of my brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law from India send me WhatsApp messages. They find it easy and convenient to send phots through this App. Otherwise it is as useless as it gets. I would probably pay 1$ or two for it. Not sure how many of my correspondents from India wo
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:38AM (#46322513)

    A few college students in America say they don't use it.

    But so what if _all_ college students in America don't use it? College students in America are Facebook users already; they aren't why Zuckerberg bought WhatsApp.

    There's a big wide world out there, theodp.

  • and I don't give a darn.
  • by Farmer Pete ( 1350093 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:46AM (#46322569)
    Am I the only person who can't understand why anyone in their right mind would pay 1 billion, (let alone 19 billion) for a company that pretty much just does IM for phones? I mean, there are a ton of instant messengers out there. Most have good phone integration. Whether this will break even for Facebook or not is a given. It wont. They may not loose their shirt, but there is no way they are going to make their 19 billion back from a company with 40 million in revenue. The math doesn't add up. Even if paying ~$40 a user was a good move for a company like FB, there is no reason people will stay on WhatsApp if they don't want to. It's not like FB where leaving can be tricky if you have a lot of content there you don't want to loose access to. You aren't going to see a mass exodus of FB, but within a matter of months, you could in WhatsApp. Having said that, the creators of WhatsApp get massive props. Creating a platform that does something that 50 other competitors have and are already doing, and then selling it for 19 billion dollars is massively impressive. With these numbers, I'm going to have to reevaluate Blackberry's stock price. Valued currently at under 5 billion, BBM has to be worth at least 10 billion by itself. Which means the stock should double in the next few days, as Google looks to acquire BBM to compete with Facebook.
    • Whether this will break even for Facebook or not is a given. It wont. [...] The math doesn't add up.

      And yet Facebook apparently disagrees. I'd suggest that they probably did a lot more math than you did before shelling out.

  • Who's On WhatsApp, and Why?

    We are on WA because there is no open communication protocol in widespread use!
    It's like everybody is sitting on a different island, where slowly people are migrating to the island with the largest population.

    WA should be forced to use XMPP, the protocol that they modified such that they could lock their users in. []

  • You diid text all 450M users and confirmed they all texted back, right? Right?

  • Used WhatsApp as an alternative to SMS, but security issues and acquisition by Facebook drove me off. And I didn't want to pay a subscribtion for something as trivial as an unencrypted chat.

    After looking at alternatives, I made a decision to switch to Telegram, looks and feels almost exactly the same, has an open source, free and open API, desktop client, end-to-end encryption and is free. For now it is financed by Digital Fortress fund (although I would donate should the need arise).

  • I use a few different messaging apps, more then I'd like to use to but not everyone all uses the same one so I have to be diverse. WhatsApp is the only messaging app I have, outside of text messages (MMS), that allows me to send a video directly to someone. I don't need this feature often but when I do, WhatsApp has it.

    if I had to pick a favorite it would either be Hangouts or Facebook Messenger due to the fluid nature that I can roam from my phone to PC to tablet, etc, during an active conversation and
  • Most people I know in the UK use it a cheaper replacement for MMS. Sending pictures quickly and much more cheaply with inclusive data bundles. A lot of people have unlimited SMS but MMS is still very expensive for some reason.

  • by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:22AM (#46322801)

    Lots of people have packages with tonnes of text messages making them, essentially, free or very low cost - however SMS doesn't do anything beyond 1:1 communication in plain old text. So picture sharing and group chats are out.

    MMS can do that, but it's often excluded from SMS packages - so after a few messages it can start to get rather expensive. Even more so when you are sending these things to different countries.

    iMessage can do that too and it's nicely integrated into iOS. If your friends aren't using iOS though then it all falls down.

    So, combining these all together gets you the following wish list:

    • Very cheap almost to the point of being free.
    • 1:1 and group chat support.
    • Picture and content sharing.
    • No additional fees for sending worldwide.
    • No additional fees when you're roaming.
    • Not tied to users of one operating system.

    WhatsApp (and the like) fill this gap.

    In the future, I expect to see an update to WhatsApp on Android that allows it to take over as the main SMS application. That way it can work in the same way as iMessage on iOS - if you send a message and the recipient is on WhatsApp then it goes via them. If not, then it gets sent as a plain old text message.

  • To sum up WhatsApp (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's a mobile messenger app similar to the old PC version of ICQ or the BB messenger. People around the world started using alternate messaging apps like this to get around hefty fees some carriers charge for SMS. If your country/region has free or low cost SMS, these alternate messaging plans are not as popular. WhatsApp happened to be one that became more popular than others. I guess Facebook calculated that if they can get all of these people around the world using it under the Facebook umbrella, i

  • FB could sign up 19B users for $19B if they pay $1 per user when they use facebook messenger. I know what the entire population of the world. Who cares? The investors are all after the number of users. I don't think they care much about number of REAL people, do they?
  • I installed WhatsApp (iOS) as it was one of the first cross platform messengers that allowed me to send messages on the cheap while traveling to international congresses with my coworkers, some of which used BBM and early Andriod-based phones. This was about 5 years ago, and have used it since with, primarily with Indian nationals as well as Pharmaceutical Industry professionals.
  • I lived in Singapore for four years and moved to Hong Kong a year ago. WhatsApp is used by nearly 100% of the people in these two cities.
  • This acquisition makes less sense the more hear about it. Facebook paid $16 billion (or is it $19 billion?) for a messaging app, and they don't even know who's using it? How on earth did they put a value on this thing? It boggles the mind.
  • Until Facebook bought it. I've since switched to BBM. It's a Damn shame too... It was a great app.
  • That is a well known fact, such a poll is rather useless.
    I don't know how accurate graphs like this are: []
    However WhatsApp has a hughe user base in Europe and Asia.

  • Up until Facebook got them, anyway, I had been a WhatsApp user since the early days. Almost everyone I talk to uses it as their primary chat channel and as far as I can tel, it's the defcato chat tool in Europe. Different countries seem to latch onto different apps though, people in other countries often use Viber for instance. Another plus over SMS (give that with 5,000 free texts a month, price wasn't an issue) is that I'm in a semi-rural location and often have no phone signal so being able to chat via
  • by thisisauniqueid ( 825395 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @02:23PM (#46325293)
    I just got back from traveling through Bedouin country in Jordan, and several Bedouin men who live miles from civilization without wired electricity and whose extent of knowledge of technology is how to drive their truck and charge their feature phone from solar panels separately told me that they use WhatsApp to communicate with other Bedouin families and friends. The cost savings over SMS is key, but the brilliance of WhatsApp was the decision even in this day and age to implement Symbian and J2ME clients.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972