WhatsApp is an application used by millions of users every day, without a second thought. That being said, do you know the history of WhatsApp? The platform has an interesting timeline since its inception back in 2009 and that history can tell us a lot about where this application and company is heading in the future.
From its humble mobile beginnings to the ability to download WhatsApp for PC, this is the history of WhatsApp.
The story of this company starts with Brian Acton and Jan Koum, two former Yahoo employees who founded WhatsApp Inc. back in 2009. The idea for the app came about when Apple introduced push notifications for apps in an early version of iOS, Acton and Koum saw a gap in the market for a free messaging platform on the App Store.
With the launch of WhatsApp 2.0, the application’s user base hit 250,000 and it continued to grow from there. WhatsApp eventually introduced a small charge to use the service, to cover the cost of sending verification texts to users as a result of the service growing so fast.Over the next few years WhatsApp continued to pick up funding from major investors and grow to other platforms including Android and BlackBerry. By 2014, WhatsApp had picked up 400 million active users and grew with image sending functionality and other ground-breaking features.
It was then confirmed in 2014 that as part of a string of acquisitions, Facebook would acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was involved in the deal throughout and saw huge potential in WhatsApp.
Keeping in line with other Facebook services, WhatsApp launched a web version of their application in early 2015. This version initially launched for Android users and mirrored conversations between the web and mobile devices. WhatsApp has continued to rival Facebook’s own Messenger platform and it is suspected that they could merge.
The history of WhatsApp is an interesting one and a true success story for Brian Acton and Jan Koum. That being said, with so much competition in the marketplace, the future of WhatsApp isn’t clear. The company will clearly need to continue to evolve, but that shouldn’t be difficult with the support of Facebook.