Why is Whatsapp So Popular Rather Than Any Apps

I can use Google Hangouts or GroupMe from me PC but not WhatsApp (I think recently there is an extension that allows this but it uses your phone as a server). Personally, I find other messaging apps to be a lot more reliable and have many more features. So why is WhatsApp so popular?

What others have said here are accurate but also WhatsApp is quite popular for two other reasons, particularly in developing countries:

It's available on every smart device out there, even on older Nokia and Blackberry smartphones. If you have a smartphone, no matter the year it was made, chances are WhatsApp can be installed on it. It also has a small footprint on one's smart phone, compared to say Facebook Messenger where it's much more resource intensive.

Also it uses very little data if you just text people and in many developing countries it's cheaper to have a limited data plan than to use SMS, and especially MMS (picture and video texts). Just looking at my WhatsApp data usage in the 11 months I've had it installed on my reformatted phone it's only used ~19 MB and that includes many pictures, videos and even calling via WhatsApp (just texts alone used ~5.5 MB, and that's for 10,000 messages). Ten thousand text messages, as well as numerous pictures, videos and voice chat using so little data is quite impressive and is much cheaper than SMS/MMS.

One key thing also is that international use is big as well, for instance I use WhatsApp for messaging friends and family in Belgium, Nigeria, the UK and many more places.

Most people think of WhatsApp and smartphone use from a developed world perspective, most people have computers and tablets, however in the developing world it's a much, much different story. To buy a computer, as well as having an Internet plan for your home can be quite expensive, that is to say even if it's available in your area. Cell phone coverage however is a much different story, where coverage is almost everywhere in populated areas of a country, and smartphone data plans are much more affordable, for example while working in India I had unlimited 2G data for less than $10 a month, which WhatsApp is surprisingly efficient with.

So these are the many reasons why WhatsApp was popular, ironically when Facebook bought it (which was a very defensive purchase and an easy way to enter the developing world demographic but that's another topic) popularity for it surged, especially in developed countries where the major messaging platforms were Facebook Messenger and iMessage.

Source: Started a nonprofit organization in Nepal/India tackling the issue of Internet availability in developing countries, did research in regards to it.


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