Another dot in the blogosphere?

What’s that, Whatsapp?

Posted on: January 2, 2012

I have two stories to tell about WhatsApp.

The first is how I knew that my wife had “arrived” in her iPhone journey. Not too long ago, my wife was a Nokia-only and then a Palm-only fan. Apples were either fruits or or a company that made good mini computers.

Early last year, she bought WhatsApp and bugged me to jump on the bandwagon. I had not heard of it and downloaded it only when it went free for short time.

Our roles had changed. She was recommending apps to the recommender of apps. How quickly things change!

The second story is a link between a recent report in Digital Life (28 Dec 2011), Young people are choosing WhatsApp over SMS, and a colleague who went away on holiday.

The gist of the DL article is that people seem to be moving away from SMS to WhatsApp because the latter is cheaper and more feature-rich. They SMS only to communicate with those on older phones.

My colleague had planned a holiday and tried to make arrangements online. When that failed, she contacted the other party with WhatsApp and sealed the deal.

Not everyone is on WhatsApp, of course, but this is an indicator of how quickly things can change. The DL article cited these statistics:

  • Worldwide 16 billion SMS messages are sent each day; WhatsApp was already handling over 1 billion messages daily
  • SMS use in Singapore grew by 41% in 2009, 19% in 2010 and only 6% in 2011

Most people would say that the writing is on the wall. It is only a matter of time when apps like WhatsApp take over.

People might also see that the future of things like commerce, government services and education is mobile. Well, definitely in commerce, half-heartedly on government and reluctantly in education.

How quickly might things change?

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