WhatsApp history timeline to Now

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10 Jan 2023
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WhatsApp is an American freeware for messaging and Voice over IP service. Facebook Inc. has become the owner of the software since 2014. It allows the user to message in either text or voice, and make voice and video calls. WhatsApp is also used to share images, documents, locations, and other media. It runs on mobile devices and is even accessible on desktop computers too. The registration of the users in this application requires a standard cellular mobile number.

WhatsApp's Origin 2009

Jan Koum and Brian Acton made a picture in their mind to create a messaging app with a feature of showing status next to the individual names of users. The idea of this name came from the phrase "What's up" which sounds similar to its name "WhatsApp". He gifted himself on his birthday, "24 February of 2009", by incorporating WhatsApp, Inc. in California However, the earliest version kept crashing. After all, he decided to give up and look for a new job. Brian Acton encouraged him and suggested waiting for a few months more.

Koum made a change to notify everyone in the user's network when they make a change in their status. This idea tickled with the push notification launched by Apple in June 2009. After the release of WhatsApp 2.0 with a messaging component in August 2009, the user number increased to 250 thousand.

Brian Acton convinced his five ex-Yahoo! colleagues, to invest $250,000 in seeding funding. He then became a co-founder and officially joined this company on November 1. The application launched the beta stage in November 2009 for the iPhone. He hired Cris Peiffer to develop the blackberry version. With the help of Cris Peiffer, Two months later, WhatsApp developed its Blackberry version too. Google was Subjected to many acquisition offers but it declined the offer. WhatsApp-Team changed it to a paid service to cover the cost of sending the verification text to the users.

Exchange of pictures

WhatsApp added the ability to send pictures to the iOS version in December 2009. Support for Android OS was also added to the feature in 2010, August. WhatsApp's popularity by the year 2011 made it enlisted of the top 20 apps in Apple's U.S. App Store. Great competitor Snapchat was founded in May 2011 to compete as a photo messaging app.

After a long negotiation, Sequoia Capital invested $8 million in the company. By February 2013, It had 200 million active users and employed 50 staff to meet the demand of the users. WhatsApp's value increased to $1.5 billion after another $50 million investment by Sequoia Capital.

WhatsApp announced an annual subscription fee of $1 after the first year on 16 July 2013. In August of the same year, a cloud-based messaging service Telegram was launched. This service increased competition in the field of messaging. WhatsApp introduced voice messaging in the same month.

Security issues

On 6 January 2012, an unknown hacker published a website. The website was built to make it possible to change the status of an arbitrary WhatsApp user, as long as the phone number was known. The WhatsApp support staff made a great effort against that act. They finally announced that messages were encrypted in the "latest version" of the WhatsApp software for iOS and Android, without specifying the cryptographic method in August 2012.

Facebook Subsidiary

WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for US$ 19 billion on February 19, 2014. It is one of the largest tech acquisitions in history. After the acquisition, WhatsApp users experienced a loss in service. So, a considerable number of users moved to other messaging services. However, it was a popular messaging app. It had 600 million users till that period.

Addition of calling features

The team added voice calls between two accounts in March and April 2015. WhatsApp had 900 million users by September 2015. It had grown to a billion by February 2016. In addition, it added video calls in November 2016 and both group voice and video calls for up to four accounts in July 2018. Later, for convenience and on-demand, WhatsApp improved the feature to call up to eight accounts in a group call in April 2020.

WhatsApp is no longer a paid charge

The co-founder of WhatsApp Jan Koum announced the removal of the annual subscription fee of $1 on January 18, 2016. Also, he said that the app would not display third-party ads. He also added the statement to have new features such as the ability to communicate with businesses.

WhatsApp introduced its document-sharing feature, initially allowing users to share PDF files with the users in their contacts on 2 March 2016.

For further protection, WhatsApp launched the beta version with the feature of two-step verification for android users on November 10, 2016. Also, Facebook ceased all the collecting data for advertisement. Later on, WhatsApp introduced a video calling system between two accounts. WhatsApp launched a new status feature on its 8th birthday which is similar to Snapchat and stories on Facebook.

The co-founder of WhatsApp Brian Acton left the company so that he could start a nonprofit group called "Signal Foundation". This group added competition to WhatsApp by developing a new messaging cross-platform called "Signal". WhatsApp launched WhatsApp Business in January 2018. It was for small business use.

To the present content, there are about 2 billion monthly active users in this media. so, it is ranked third position in the list of active users in 2020.

In conclusion, the information presented here is the fact reviled during my research period. there might be some addition to the new features in the future.

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