A guaranteed hit with users worldwide that has certainly altered the dynamics of the mobile marketing playing field for good, the WhatsApp app is now one of the hottest instant free sms tools utilized freely today.
Essentially an instant messaging application that doubles up as a free sms outlet for Smartphone users, the WhatsApp app has ascended the throne of popularity in a space of few years, crippling its competitors with hardly any effort.
Its rival applications include the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), which caters exclusively to fellow BlackBerry users. But unlike BBM, WhatsApp can be utilized by a miscellany of Smartphone users. Thus, basically anyone who has their fingers wrapped around a phone running an Android, Windows, Blackberry OS, Symbian or Apple’s iOS stands a chance to utilize this nifty app for a quick exchange of words, without even forking out a dime to use its services. This new method of smsing has certainly struck a thrilled cord with its users, who are enjoying the benefits of WhatsApp for something as simple as friendly and casual texts to something as serious as business dealings and online marketing.
Needless to say, the world of mobile marketing will truly never be the same again. With WhatsApp, people are no longer shackled to geographical barriers or constricted by pressing time zones – the application functions in such a way that it serves as an instant messaging tool for phones; you can use it anytime, anywhere. As for the brains behind this brilliant stroke of technology – that honor goes to a duo of ex-Yahoo staff members, Brian Acton and Jan Koum, who both teamed up to create the app in 2009.
Ever since its launch, WhatsApp was quick to claim the mobile telecommunication scene, swiftly inducting a total of 250 million users around the globe within a course of three years. Call it quirky and infectious, but WhatsApp certainly projects a very secure and private interface, despite the security hiccup it encountered in early 2011, whereby reports of possible hijacking and non-encrypted data packets were flown in. After patching up the gaping hole in its security defenses, WhatsApp continued its reign of popularity, enlisting followers wherever it went.
But how does this application even operate?
Well, the WhatsApp app basically serves as a customized platform for the usual Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). The moment the app is installed, it automatically generates a user account based on the phone number of the phone being used. This free sms tool then allocates and siphons all the phone numbers from the user’s address book and incorporates it into its central database, thus adding a series of contacts of fellow WhatsApp users.
By selecting the contact they wish to text with, users simply open the application on their Smartphones and begin typing a series of words before entering the slogan or phrase. The recipient will then receive the text at no charge – hence the reason why WhatsApp has been dubbed as a free sms tool numerous times. However, do take note that the transmission and reception of messages require an active internet or Wi-Fi connection.
As for security concerns, WhatsApp is a relatively secure method of chatting. Prior to August 2012 however, all messages were transmitted in a plain-text and unencrypted format, which made it susceptible to session hijacking. It is only after acknowledging this huge vulnerability did the WhatsApp technical support team come up with the idea of implementing data encryption methods to better protect users and keep conversations private and confidential.
Despite suffering several media backlashes due to the occasional security breach, WhatsApp still remains the most sought after and used Smartphone instant messenger. Its uncanny ability to transmit photos, short video clips and even texts at no cost has allowed users to bridge the gap between continents at the mere click of a button. Business deals can now be conducted via simple text messages at virtually no charge, and the dynamics of the online marketing world has certainly been altered once and for all with this ingenious little app.
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