WhatsApp just rolled out their new update, and it is absolutely going to change the way we look at it. WhatsApp was originally supposed to be a micro-messaging website, but with this roll out on their 8th birthday, WhatsApp has now become a different ball game together.
Jan Koum and Brian Acton started working on WhatsApp back in 2009, the app was originally supposed to be a status app, but somehow things didn’t go according to plan and it ended up to become the WhatsApp we know now. “Jan was showing me his address book,” Koum’s friend and entrepreneur Alex Fishman told a source at FORBES for a profile on Koum in 2014. “His thinking was it would be really cool to have statuses next to individual names of the people.” Hence the name WhatsApp, for the original hipster line What’s up?!. Only after five years later, he had sold WhatsApp for $19 billion, and earned himself a seat on the board of directors at Facebook, a company that had rejected him after interviews.
What does it mean to WhatsApp?
WhatsApp has been trying for a really long time to turn into a profit-making model, but have been anti-advertisement for all this time. But after some time, they knew they had to bow in and start turning profitable. And with this status update, this could be the perfect moment they have been waiting for. A business model like snap chat perhaps could work wonders for them, with Snapchat raking in a cool $300 million last year.
What does it mean for Snapchat?
Snapchat had filed for its IPO due in March, but it had a long history with Facebook. According to a story that ran on the covers of The Wall Street Journal, Evan Speigel revealed that Mark Zuckerberg had, not once, but twice had tried to acquire them, and ended up failing at each of those attempts.
Since then, Facebook has left no stone unturned, with the release of stories for Instagram, whether the stickers and the effects at Messenger, each a missile aimed at undermining Snapchat. But perhaps this might be the biggest missile till now, and if one is adept with warfare patois, an ICBM. WhatsApp has a user base with over 1.2 billion, whereas Snapchat has a user base approximately one-fourth of that.
Snapchat plans to raise as much as $3.6 billion with its IPO, approximately the same amount Zuckerberg had offered. But only time will whether they become another laughing stock in the Silicon Valley like Yahoo, or turn out be another success story like Facebook itself. It’s just that the glasses will last as long as the idea of 10 second video sharing does.