is a carrier-free messaging app that allows phone-to-phone messaging over the Internet, creating a free method for text-message style communication internationally. The app, which is owned by Facebook, is the biggest messaging app in the world, with over 900 million users as of September 2015.
Founded in 2009 by two ex-Yahoo employees, WhatsApp was originally created as a status-showing app, and named due to its linguistic similarity to “What’s Up?”. When Apple released push notifications for the iPhone in June 2009, WhatsApp enabled them for status changes, and introduced a messaging feature; within a few months more than 250,000 people had downloaded the app. Later that year, after receiving a seed investment, WhatsApp introduced a version for Blackberry, which allowed Blackberry users and iPhone users to communicate for free via messaging internationally.
The company switched from a free structure to a $0.99/year plan to keep the system from growing too fast. By 2011, WhatsApp was usually found in the top 20 apps list in the iPhone app store. By February 2013, the app had more than 200 million users, and it had doubled that number by the end of 2013; as of September 2015, the app has over 900 milion users. It is most popular in India, where it has over 65 million users, but people worldwide use it on both Android and Apple phones. In 2014, the company was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion. Many users disagreed with the acquisition, and moved their messaging to competing services like Line and Telegram after a service outage.
WhatsApp allows anyone with the app to message anyone else with the app, which is common in messaging, but it also allows people with the app to message anyone with a cell phone number as well, but using the smartphone’s wifi connection instead of its cell connection. This innovation freed the phone from international data and text-messaging fees, and made it easier for people to communicate by text messaging to their friends and family in other countries.
“Los Mensajes del WhatsApp”
In January 2014, Mexican singer Cartel de Santa released a single called “Los Mensajes del WhatsApp,” which gained popularity in Spanish-Speaking cultures worldwide. As of January 2016, the video has almost 42 million views.
Jo Baka (જો બકા) is an Indian phrase which roughly translates to “So, my friend”. The phrase, typically associated with the Indian state Gujarat, reached nationwide popularity in 2014 due to a series of image macros distributed via WhatsApp.