Even though it is one of the most popular and successful apps of all time, with over 800 million users worldwide, many people do not understand how WhatsApp actually works. Most users do not understand how WhatsApp works, because they do not realize that WhatsApp is an app.
Instead, many people think of WhatsApp as a short messaging service (SMS), a built-in text messaging solution. Such SMS solutions have been a popular feature on cellular phones for well over a decade. This misconception is partially true; WhatsApp contains an SMS solution, but it is much, much more.
So What Is WhatsApp Anyway?
The best way to think of WhatsApp is as a social media network designed to connect smartphones. WhatsApp was basically the first social media solution designed to be used on smartphones rather than upon computers.
WhatsApp allows smartphone users access to the same kind of social media solutions that users of computer-based applications such as Skype and Facebook have had for years. WhatsApp users can send text messages, but they can also send audio messages (phone calls), photographs and videos to other users over their phone.
It also allows users to bypass the telephone system, much like Internet calling services like Skype do. That allows people to send messages and make calls to people all over the world at little or no cost.
How Does WhatsApp Work?
WhatsApp is a deceptively simple piece of technology that takes advantage of the features of modern smartphones. It is designed to turn phones into portals to social media, and how it achieves this goal is intriguing.
The best way to explain WhatsApp’s functions is with this short guide to its operations:
– The app, which the user downloads, is actually a computer program that installs itself on the phone. When it is installed, WhatsApp integrates itself with some of the phone’s features, including the address book and the photo gallery.
– By integrating with your phone’s address book, WhatsApp can match your existing contacts with other WhatsApp users. That way you can automatically send messages to anybody else that is using WhatsApp.
– The app uses the phone’s data plan or a Wi-Fi connection to create a direct connection to WhatsApp’s cloud-based platform on the Internet.
– This connection enables WhatsApp to send messages directly to other users. It also allows the user to make direct calls to other WhatsApp users and to send other kinds of data, such as photos and videos.
– The Internet connection allows the WhatsApp user to bypass the phone company. There is no charge for the calls or messaging because the data travels over the Internet rather than through the cellular company system. That is why you can send texts to people in other countries for free.
– Even though it uses the Internet rather than the phone system, WhatsApp can run up your phone bill by using up all your data. It does this because it uses large amounts of data and can fill the data plan.
– You can get around the data plan limitation and save money by using a direct Wi-Fi connection. Unlike traditional SMS services, WhatsApp operates directly through the Internet, all it needs is a good connection to get online.
– WhatsApp can also work directly over the Internet on computers via WhatsApp Web. WhatsApp Web is simply a slightly different version of WhatsApp designed to operate on computers, including tablets, laptops, and desktops rather than phones.
– WhatsApp is a cross platform application. That means it works across a variety of operating systems, including Apple iOS, Google Chrome and Android, and Microsoft Windows. This is what enables it to operate on a wide variety of devices, including the iPhone, Android phones, Blackberry, Nokia S40, and the Windows Phone. It is also what enables it to operate on PCs, iPads, and Macs using WhatsApp Web.
WhatsApp is a real time messaging service, which means it is constantly running and updating itself whenever it has an Internet connection. This feature is what enables users to remain in constant contact with their friends and others.
WhatsApp generates revenue for its parent company, Facebook, because users have to pay around $1 every time they download it. It also collects data that Facebook hopes to use to increase its revenue at some point in the future.
What Will I Need to Use WhatsApp?
One of the reasons why WhatsApp has become so popular is that it is very easy to use and install. Almost anybody that owns a smartphone can figure out how to install WhatsApp and start using it.
Here is what you will need to take advantage of WhatsApp:
– A late model iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia S40, or Windows Phone smartphone. Generally, WhatsApp will run upon most smartphones made in the last two years.
– A data plan or Wi-Fi connection to access the Internet. You will need sufficient data to maintain a constant WhatsApp connection.
– The WhatsApp app, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, Google Play, the Windows Store, or directly from WhatsApp.
– To utilize WhatsApp Web, you will need a computer with an Internet connection and a Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Opera browser.
What Can I Do with WhatsApp?
Once you have installed it, there is actually quite a bit you can do with WhatsApp. Most people just use it to send messages, but it actually has a few more capabilities you might not be aware of, including:
- The ability to share photographs and other images in messages.
– The ability to send instant messages to other WhatsApp users anywhere in the world provided they are connected to the Internet.
– The ability to send videos in messages.
– The ability to access your messages, pictures, address book, etc., without your phone as long as you have a WhatsApp connection. You will have this ability because WhatsApp is also a cloud-based solution. That means it exists on the cloud rather than in your phone, so you can retrieve messages and pictures even if your phone gets lost, stolen, or destroyed.
Once you’ve seen how WhatsApp works, it is real easy to see why it is so popular and why Facebook was willing to pay $19 billion for it. WhatsApp could just be the most potent app for phones on the market today.