There are many factors that determine the success of a mobile application. Sometimes it’s the originality of the idea, other times it’s the app's suitability to your everyday needs.
Where some apps focus on solving real life problems, others just simply tap into your obsessive need to win or simply waste time.
In recent years however, one app in particular has managed to achieve an unparalleled level of success in the digital world. With a user base of approximately 900 million and nearly 64 billion messages processed in a day, Whatsapp has practically managed to revolutionise communication as we know it. Reducing the cost, time and resources needed to send text and media .
Yet, when it comes to functionality, Whatsapp is far from unique, with plenty of apps offering similar services and features. So what exactly makes it the most popular messaging application in the world?
Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Widespread Availability
For starters, Whatsapp is available on every major mobile platform Nokia, Blackberry, Windows, Android and iOS. Its standardized; cross-platform functionality has gone a long way in appealing to users from all over the world. As long as you have a smartphone, regardless of how simple or complex it may be, chances are, you can install Whatsapp on it.
The oldest device capable of running WhatsApp is the Symbian-based Nokia N95 released in March 2007.
2. Ease of setup; (No signups or invites)
Setting up the application is pretty straightforward, all you need is your data enabled smartphone and your cell phone number. Users do not need to open accounts or email/invite any friends to begin using the platform. The best part about this is that it offers a higher level of privacy that social media platforms do not.
3. Not Resource intensive
The application uses very little data and is cheaper than using SMS or MMS. Whatsapp bypasses your cellular network’s SMS carrier and uses the Internet instead. Due to this, no international charges are incurred when sending messages to contacts in other countries.
For developing countries especially, it is much cheaper for users to have a limited data plan than to use SMS, hence most smartphone users gravitate towards the application.
**4. User friendly UI ******
The application’s User Interface is easy for people (young or old) to understand and navigate. It is neither pervasive nor intrusive during use and does not sell ads (we hope it stays this way)
5. Initial purpose/vision.
The founders of Whatsapp (Jan Koun and Brian Acton) came up with the idea of building an app that was easy to use and free of any ads or barriers. They saw a gap in the digital world that prevented users from simply communicating in a hassle free, affordable way and they filled that gap wonderfully. In many ways this was the foundation of the application’s success, Whatsapp grew in an almost viral like manner and took everyone by storm.
Whatsapp concentrated on users like my mother whom everyone avoided. She never was the target user for top notch tech companies. I think that is what made the difference.
Comment by Akshay Jay on Quora
*These are just 5 general reasons why Whatsapp is so popular but you could probably list many more. In a nutshell, they demonstrate that, the simplicity of the problem and the unique nature of the product are sometimes all it takes to make an outstanding application.
How can your business use Whatsapp ?
As Ongair we realised that there was a huge gap in Customer Relation Management especially when it came to IM platforms. Although businesses could still engage their clients via social media it was still impersonal and not as fast.
Out of this need, we developed an easier, faster and more convenient way for businesses to interact and communicate with their clients via Whatsapp and WeChat. In less than three months, businesses using Ongair have recorded an increase of more than 60% in their client engagement and response time .
Find out more about Ongair and how your business can harness the power of IM today.*
Have any questions? Tweet us at @Ongair_ or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org