WhatsApp: Software above the level of a single device

Hi Everyone! Welcome to my first blog.

This week in the blog we will be focusing on Software above the level of a single device.

The PC is no longer the only access device for internet applications, and applications that are limited to a single device are less valuable than those that are connected.Therefore: Design your application from the get-go to integrate services across handheld devices, PCs, and internet servers. -Tim O Reilly.

According to this statement by Tim O Reilly we can understand that most users are now on the go and using Mobile Devices more often for everyday tasks such as Emailing, Messaging, Banking, Looking at Maps, Sharing files and so on and are not dependent on PC only available software. To illustrate this pattern, I will be talking about WhatsApp today.



WhatsApp is a cross platform mobile messaging app that lets you send text, pictures and videos to your contacts anywhere for free (It requires internet connection though!).

Unlike Apple’s iMessage, WhatsApp works on all the major mobile operating systems which includes iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Nokia and Windows Phone.

WhatsApp was started by two former Yahoo Employees, Jan Koum and Brian Acton. In February 2014 Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $US19 Billion in cash and stock. The purchase was the biggest internet deal since Time Warner’s $US124 billion merger with AOL in 2001.

An interesting story about this acquisition story is that both Jan Koum and Brian Acton applied for a job in Facebook and were rejected in 2009. Expressing disappointment over the rejection, Brian Acton tweeted “Facebook turned me down. It was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life’s next adventure.”

In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.  WhatsApp is also looking to introduce an in app calling service which lets you receive and make free voice calls over the internet to your WhatsApp contacts.


Tim O Reilly (2005) What is Web 2.0. Retrieved from: http://oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html?page=1

Sarah Frier (2014) Facebook buys WhatsApp. Retrieved from: http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/facebook-buys-whatsapp-messenger-for-21-billion-20140224-hvd4u.html

Rediff (2014) Amazing rags to riches story of WhatsApp founder Jan Koum. Retrieved from: http://www.rediff.com/business/slide-show/slide-show-1-special-tech-the-amazing-success-story-of-whatsapps-architect-jan-koum/20140220.htm#2

Tom Gara (2014) What is WhatsApp? One highly addicted user explains. Retrieved from:http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2014/02/19/what-is-whatsapp-one-highly-addicted-user-explains

Pavithra Rathinavel (2014) WhatsApp to add Voice Calling feature to Anfroid and iOS shortly. Retrieved from: http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/547591/20140410/whatsapp-facebook-voice-calling-skype-android-ios.htm


4 thoughts on “WhatsApp: Software above the level of a single device

  1. Hey, great first blog. I liked the background information on the history of WhatsApp you provided; it gave a better understanding of where it had come from. From reading about WhatsApp it seems with the addition of VoIP capabilities it is becoming similar to Skype in that manner. Do you think this similarity could be considered a positive or negative parallel to have?

  2. Hi there,
    Great post you have there regarding whatsapp, it is indeed one of the most famous and convenient services we have on our mobile device. However, I was wondering whether whatsapp can be considered a software above the level of a single device since it can only be used in your smartphones. Up to now, whatsapp is not available to be used in any other devices such as your PCs or even tablets. Although undeniably, it is great in what it does, whatsapp might just fall behind when compared with the likes of skype, hangout, iMessage or even facebook messenger because of this limitation. I believe that this is the ideal next step for Mark Zuckerberg; since he has bought over whatsapp; to make whatsapp accessible for other devices. What do you think?

    PCMag (2013). Retrieved on 14th April 2014 from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409429,00.asp
    Simon Hill (May 28 2013). Retrieved on 14th April 2014 from http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/best-chat-messaging-apps/#!D0oXq

  3. Good job on your first blog!
    Though WhatsApp doesn’t support anything other then smartphones currently, I do believe that it is still a good choice for this weeks blog, mainly because it is supported on many different types of smart phones, from the main ones like Android and iPhone to even Nokia, Blackberry and Window’s Phones! So I agree with both you and Max’s comment above. There is definitely an opportunity for Mr. Zuckerberg to expand on this and add Tablets and Desktop computers to the mix, though after looking around a little, there may be the possibility that this won’t happen owing to the fact that a WhatsApp support team has stated that they don’t plan on adding support for tablets, computers, or Wi-Fi only devices in the foreseeable future. But fingers crossed that this is an old FAQ! WhatsApp has seen quite a bit of growth in the last year, and there could be value to adding devices other then smartphones to WhatsApps’ compatibility list.

    WhatsApp FAQ (2014). Retrieved on 16th April 2014 from https://www.whatsapp.com/faq/general/20951556
    Zeman, E. (2013). 10 Mobile Chat Apps That Beat SMS. Retrieved 16th April 2014 from http://www.informationweek.com/mobile/mobile-devices/10-mobile-chat-apps-that-beat-sms/d/d-id/1109729?piddl_msgid=210062#msg_210062

  4. Hey Nikhill,

    Nice blog here, and finally, it’s something I can relate to. I see people putting blogs of sites and applications I’ve never heard of, and it was all too overwhelming…

    Whatsapp is definitely an app for the ages. It’s simplistic user-friendly interface and design is what makes it such a hit. The fact that it is a cross-platform application is why it has outdone iMessage by miles, in my opinion. But on the other hand, unlike iMessage that can be used on an iPhone or Mac laptop, Whatsapp can only be accessed through a smartphone, limiting its usability. I guess that’s why other messaging services like Viber and even Facebook’s chat feature alone are far more successful due to their PC integration.

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