Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp has made headlines early this year, especially because of its price tag of $19 billion.
Many have raised an eyebrow over this news with concerns of adding ads on an ad-free WhatsApp. The developers of the messaging service have long since shut down this concern from its users, saying that WhatsApp will remain ad-free. Still, a lot of people are still waiting for the changes that will surely come after the acquisition.
Doubling Its Users
Facebook’s campaign is to connect all the people from all around the world, and with its billions of users and WhatsApp’s half a million users, it does not seem such a far-fetch dream after all. In line with this, WhatsApp is now looking to double its users from 500 million to 1 billion, in just a year. It’s one of the main targets of the company today, Neeraj Arora, a business development head of WhatsApp announced.
The company is not one to hold press regularly. They claimed that they have spent zero in the marketing so far. Is it possible to achieve their goal of one billion users without marketing? The company has already achieved half a billion of users without having to do press and marketing. It seems likely that they will also pull the one billion off. However, to do that in one year remains to be a question.
It’s a tough call for WhatsApp, especially now that there are a lot of competitions available who are offering the same, if not more. One of the rising third-party messaging services is Snapchat. Snapchat is slowly making its presence felt by becoming the top third-party messaging app in North America. According to Sandvine, a network traffic specialist, Snapchat is “generating more traffic each day than competing services such as WhatsApp”. It seems that more and more people want to use images and videos as part of their communication.
User Friendly Product
Arora also said that the company’s focus is to offer the best user friendly product to the people. This is why WhatsApp only uses a person’s mobile number instead of using a username and a password. For some people, this is a good thing if they don’t want to remember a username and a password just to log in to the app, while others would oppose the idea of using their mobile numbers for privacy reasons.
What WhatsApp needs to do to achieve 1 Billion Users?
For one, they must keep their promise that they won’t incorporate ads in their services. People will be quick to change their messaging service once that happens. WhatsApp also needs to add more services other than free messaging and voice messages. Many of its competitions are offering free voice calls and video calls. It is probably the right time to do the same. WhatsApp has announced that they will also soon provide free video calling as their feature, but it seems that we still need to wait for a couple of months before we can enjoy this exciting feature.