WhatsApp – Wikipedia

Messaging and VoIP servicing by Meta

WhatsApp Messenger, or simply WhatsApp, is an internationally available american freeware, cross-platform centralized blink of an eye message ( IM ) and voice-over-IP ( VoIP ) serve owned by Meta Platforms. [ 12 ] It allows users to send text messages and voice messages, [ 13 ] make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other contented. [ 14 ] [ 15 ] WhatsApp ‘s node lotion runs on mobile devices but is besides accessible from desktop computers. [ 16 ] The service requires a cellular mobile telephone act to sign up. [ 17 ] In January 2018, WhatsApp released a standalone commercial enterprise app targeted at small business owners, called WhatsApp Business, to allow companies to communicate with customers who use the standard WhatsApp node. [ 18 ] [ 19 ] The client application was created by WhatsApp Inc. of Mountain View, California, which was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for approximately US $ 19.3 billion. [ 20 ] [ 21 ] It became the world ‘s most popular message application by 2015, [ 22 ] [ 23 ] and had more than 2 billion users worldwide by February 2020. [ 24 ] By 2016 it had become the primary means of Internet communication in regions including Latin America, the indian subcontinent, and large parts of Europe and Africa. [ 22 ]



WhatsApp was founded by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, former employees of yokel !. initially, WhatsApp was not intended to be a messaging app. In January 2009, after Koum purchased an iPhone, he and Acton, keen to jump into what they saw envision as a newly burgeoning multi-million dollar app diligence created by the Apple App Store, Koum came up with an mind for an app to provide dynamic data about the people listed in your address reserve : it would show statuses for each person, for example : “ if you were on a call, your battery was abject, or you were at the gymnasium. ” Their discussions much took place at the home of Koum ‘s russian ally Alex Fishman in West San Jose. They realized that to take the estimate far, they would need an iPhone developer. Fishman visited RentACoder.com, found russian developer Igor Solomennikov, and introduced him to Koum. [ 60 ] Koum named the app WhatsApp to sound like “ what ‘s up ”. On February 24, 2009, he incorporated [ 61 ] WhatsApp Inc. in California. however, when early versions of WhatsApp kept crashing, Koum considered giving up and looking for a newfangled job. Acton encouraged him to wait for a “ few more months ”. [ 60 ] It was n’t until four to five months after the app had been downloaded by only a handful of Fishman ‘s russian speak friends, that Apple launched push notifications in June 2009, allowing users to be pinged when they were not using an app. Koum updated WhatsApp so that everyone in the exploiter ‘s network would be notified when a drug user ‘s condition changed. The way this raw adeptness was used, took Koum a little by storm when they began pinging “ each other with jokey customs statuses like, “ I woke up late, ” or “ I ’ thousand on my way. ” “ [ 60 ] on the spur of the moment a raw kind of blink of an eye message adeptness had been born out of the casual capability that users found more useful than the app ‘s intended purpose. ” “ At some detail it classify of became instantaneous message, ” says Fishman. “ We started using it as ‘ Hey how are you ? ’ And then person would reply. ” Jan watched the changing statuses on a Mac Mini at his township theater in Santa Clara, and realized he ’ d unwittingly created a messaging serve. ” [ 60 ] WhatsApp 2.0 was released in August 2009 with a intentionally designed messaging component and the phone number of active voice users on the spur of the moment increased to 250,000. Although Acton was working on another inauguration idea, he decided to join the ship’s company. [ 25 ] In October 2009, Acton persuaded five former friends at yokel ! to invest $ 250,000 in semen fund, and Acton became a co-founder and was given a stake. He formally joined WhatsApp on November 1. [ 25 ] After months at beta stage, the application launched in November 2009, entirely on the App Store for the iPhone. Koum then hired a acquaintance in Los Angeles, Chris Peiffer, to develop a BlackBerry translation, which arrived two months late. [ 25 ] Subsequently, WhatsApp for Symbian OS was added in May 2010, and for Android OS in August 2010. [ 62 ] In 2010, WhatsApp was subject to multiple skill offers from Google which were all declined. [ 63 ] To cover the cost of sending confirmation text to users, WhatsApp was changed from a rid service to a paid one. In December 2009, the ability to send photograph was added to the io version. By early 2011, WhatsApp was one of the top 20 apps in Apple ‘s U.S. App Store. [ 25 ] In April 2011, Sequoia Capital invested about $ 8 million for more than 15 % of the ship’s company, after months of negotiation by Sequoia partner Jim Goetz. [ 64 ] [ 65 ] [ 66 ] By February 2013, WhatsApp had about 200 million active users and 50 staff members. Sequoia invested another $ 50 million, and WhatsApp was valued at $ 1.5 billion. [ 25 ] Sometime in 2013, [ 67 ] WhatsApp acquired Santa Clara based startup, SkyMobius, the developers of Vtok, [ 68 ] a video and voice calling app. [ 69 ] In a December 2013 web log post, WhatsApp claimed that 400 million active users used the service each calendar month. [ 70 ]


On February 19, 2014, just one class after a speculation capital finance circle at a $ 1.5 billion valuation, [ 71 ] Facebook, Inc. ( now Meta Platforms ) announced it was acquiring WhatsApp for US $ 19 billion, its largest acquisition to date. [ 21 ] At the time, it was the largest learning of a venture-backed company in history. [ 20 ] Sequoia Capital received an approximate 5000 % return key on its initial investment. [ 72 ] Facebook, which was advised by Allen & Co, paid $ 4 billion in cash, $ 12 billion in Facebook shares, and ( advised by Morgan Stanley ) an extra $ 3 billion in restrict sprout units granted to WhatsApp ‘s founders Koum and Acton. [ 73 ] Employee stock was scheduled to vest over four years subsequent to closing. [ 21 ] Days after the announcement, WhatsApp users experienced a loss of service, leading to anger across social media. [ 74 ] The skill was influenced by the data provided by Onavo, Facebook ‘s research app for monitoring competitors and trending use of sociable activities on mobile phones, adenine well as startups that are performing “ unusually well ”. [ 75 ] [ 76 ] [ 77 ] The acquisition caused a considerable number of users to try and/or be active to other message services. Telegram claimed that it acquired 8 million new users ; [ 78 ] and Line, 2 million. [ 79 ] At a tonic presentation at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2014, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook ‘s skill of WhatsApp was closely related to the Internet.org vision. [ 80 ] [ 81 ] A TechCrunch article said this about Zuckerberg ‘s vision :

The idea, he said, is to develop a group of basic internet services that would be free of charge to use – ‘a 911 for the internet. ‘ These could be a social network service like Facebook, a message service, possibly search and other things like weather. Providing a pile of these rid of load to users will work like a gateway drug of sorts – users who may be able to afford data services and phones these days barely do n’t see the point of why they would pay for those data services. This would give them some context for why they are important, and that will lead them to pay for more services like this – or so the hope goes. [ 80 ]

good three days after announcing the Facebook purchase, Koum said they were working to introduce voice calls. He besides said that new mobile phones would be sold in Germany with the WhatsApp brand and that their ultimate goal was to be on all smartphones. [ 82 ] In August 2014, WhatsApp was the most globally popular messaging app, with more than 600 million users. [ 83 ] By early January 2015, WhatsApp had 700 million monthly users and over 30 billion messages every day. [ 84 ] In April 2015, Forbes predicted that between 2012 and 2018, the telecommunications diligence would lose $ 386 billion because of extraordinary ( OTT ) services like WhatsApp and Skype. [ 85 ] That calendar month, WhatsApp had over 800 million users. [ 86 ] [ 87 ] By September 2015, it had grown to 900 million ; [ 88 ] and by February 2016, one billion. [ 89 ] Voice calls between two accounts were added to the app in March and April 2015. [ 90 ] On November 30, 2015, the Android WhatsApp customer made links to another message service, Telegram, unclickable and uncopyable. [ 91 ] [ 92 ] [ 93 ] Multiple sources confirmed that it was intentional, not a wiretap, [ 93 ] and that it had been implemented when the Android generator code that recognized Telegram URLs had been identified. [ 93 ] ( The news “ telegram ” appeared in WhatsApp ‘s code. [ 93 ] ) Some considered it an anti-competitive measure, [ 91 ] [ 92 ] [ 93 ] but WhatsApp offered no explanation .


On January 18, 2016, WhatsApp ‘s co-founder Jan Koum announced that it would no long charge users a $ 1 annual subscription fee, in an feat to remove a barrier faced by users without credit cards. [ 94 ] [ 95 ] He besides said that the app would not display any third-party ads, and that it would have modern features such as the ability to communicate with businesses. [ 89 ] [ 96 ] By June 2016, the company ‘s blog reported more than 100 million voice calls per day were being placed on WhatsApp. [ 97 ] On November 10, 2016, WhatsApp launched a beta translation of two-step verification for Android users, which allowed them to use their e-mail addresses for further protection. [ 98 ] besides in November 2016, Facebook ceased collecting WhatsApp data for advertise in Europe. [ 99 ] Later that calendar month, video calls between two accounts were introduced. [ 100 ] On February 24, 2017, ( WhatsApp ‘s eighth birthday ), WhatsApp launched a new Status sport like to Snapchat and Facebook stories. [ 101 ] On May 18, 2017, the european Commission announced that it was fining Facebook €110 million for “ providing misinform information about WhatsApp coup d’etat ” in 2014. The Commission said that in 2014 when Facebook acquired the message app, it “ falsely claimed it was technically impossible to automatically combine drug user data from Facebook and WhatsApp. ” however, in the summer of 2016, WhatsApp had begun sharing user data with its rear party, allowing information such as call numbers to be used for target Facebook advertisements. Facebook acknowledged the gap, but said the errors in their 2014 filings were “ not intentional ”. [ 99 ] In September 2017, WhatsApp ‘s co-founder Brian Acton left the company to start a nonprofit group, [ 102 ] late revealed as the Signal Foundation, which developed the WhatsApp rival Signal. [ 103 ] He explained his reasons for leaving in an consultation with Forbes a year late. [ 104 ] WhatsApp besides announced a forthcoming business platform to enable companies to provide customer military service at scale, [ 105 ] and airlines KLM and Aeroméxico announced their engagement in the testing. [ 106 ] [ 107 ] [ 108 ] [ 109 ] Both airlines previously launched customer services on the Facebook Messenger platform. In January 2018, WhatsApp launched WhatsApp Business for small business consumption. [ 110 ] In April 2018, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum announced he would be leaving the company. [ 111 ] By leaving before November 2018, due to concerns about privacy, advertising, and monetization by Facebook, [ 112 ] Acton and Koum gave up $ 1.3 billion in unvested stock options. [ 113 ] Facebook late announced that Koum ‘s refilling would be Chris Daniels. [ 114 ] belated in September 2018, WhatsApp introduced group audio and video recording call features. [ 115 ] [ 116 ] In October, the “ Swipe to Reply ” option was added to the Android beta translation, 16 months after it was introduced for io. [ 117 ] On October 25, 2018, WhatsApp announced support for Stickers. But unlike early platforms WhatsApp requires third-party apps to add Stickers to WhatsApp. [ 118 ] On November 25, 2019, WhatsApp announced an investment of $ 250,000 into the startup ecosystem through a partnership with Startup India to provide 500 startups with Facebook ad credits of $ 500 each. [ 119 ] In December 2019, WhatsApp announced that a fresh update would lock out any Apple users who had n’t updated to iOS 9 or higher and Samsung, Huawei, Sony and Google users who had n’t updated to interpretation 4.0 by February 1, 2020. The caller besides reported that Windows Phone operating systems would no long be supported after December 31, 2019. [ 120 ] WhatsApp was announced to be the 3rd most downloaded mobile app of the decade from 2010 to 2019. [ 121 ]

2020– …

In early on 2020, WhatsApp launched its “ colored manner ” for iPhone and Android devices – a new purpose consist of a dark palette. [ 122 ] In March, WhatsApp partnered with the World Health Organization and UNICEF to provide messaging hotlines for people to get information on the 2019-2020 coronavirus pandemic. [ 123 ] That same calendar month, WhatsApp began testing a feature of speech to help users find out more data and context about information they receive. [ 124 ] [ clarification needed ] In October 2020, Whatsapp rolled out a feature of speech allowing users to mute both individuals and group chats everlastingly. The mute options are ‘ 8 hours ‘, ‘ 1 week ‘, and ‘ Always ‘. The ‘ Always ‘ choice replaced the ‘ 1 year ‘ option that was primitively function of the settings. [ 125 ] [ 126 ] In January 2021, WhatsApp announced a fresh privacy Policy which users would be forced to accept by February 8, 2021, or lose access to the app. The policy would allow WhatsApp to share data with its parent company, Facebook. The policy does not apply in the EU, since it violates the principles of GDPR. [ 127 ] [ 128 ] Facing a pushback about Facebook data communion and lack of clarity, WhatsApp postponed the update to May 15, 2021, [ 129 ] [ 130 ] but announced they have no plans to limit the functionality of the app for those who do n’t approve the modern terms or to give them dogged reminders to do so. On March 1, 2021, WhatsApp started rolling out confirm for third-party inspire stickers in Iran, Brazil and Indonesia. [ 132 ] On March 24, 2021, WhatsApp launched third-party enliven stickers worldwide. [ 133 ] In July 2021, WhatsApp announced the development of an Android beta adaptation update supporting the transport of decompress images and videos in 3 options : Auto, Best Quality and Data Saver. [ 134 ] The lapp calendar month, the Android beta enabled end-to-end encoding for cloud backups, stored in Facebook ‘s cloud. The stand-in is locked by a passcode and 64-digit recovery key and can not be accessed without them. [ 135 ] The company is besides testing multi-device support, which would allow users to launch WhatsApp on their background devices without keeping their earphone session active. [ 136 ] On October 4, 2021, Facebook had its worst outage since 2008. The outage besides affected other platforms owned by Facebook, such as Instagram and WhatsApp. [ 137 ] [ 138 ] Security experts identified the problem as possibly being DNS -related. [ 139 ] In December 2021, it was reported that WhatsApp started hiding users ‘ on-line status, called “ last see ” in the app from people that are not in the drug user ‘s contacts or that the exploiter has not had a conversation with yet. The option is set by default but can be changed to allow all contacts to see a user ‘s on-line status. [ 140 ] In April 2022, WhatsApp announced plans to roll out a Communities feature of speech which will allow respective group chats to exist in a divided quad, getting unify notifications and opening up smaller discussion groups. The company besides announced plans to implement reactions, the ability for admins to delete messages in groups, file sharing up to 2 GB and voice calls up to 32 participants. The turn date was not announced. [ 141 ] On, May 07, 2022, WhatsApp has announced the increase in file sharing size to 2GB from 100MB and the increased limit to add up to 512 members to a group old world chat. [ 142 ]

Platform support

After months at beta stagecoach, the official first release of WhatsApp for io launched in November 2009. In January 2010, back for BlackBerry smartphones was added ; and subsequently for Symbian OS in May 2010, and for Android OS in August 2010. In August 2011, a beta for Nokia ‘s non-smartphone OS Series 40 was added. A calendar month belated, support for Windows Phone was added, followed by BlackBerry 10 in March 2013. [ 143 ] In April 2015, support for Samsung ‘s Tizen OS was added. [ 144 ] The oldest device adequate to of running WhatsApp was the Symbian-based Nokia N95 released in March 2007. ( As of June 2017, WhatsApp is no longer compatible with it. ) In August 2014, WhatsApp released an update, adding subscribe for Android Wear smartwatches. [ 145 ] On January 21, 2015, WhatsApp launched WhatsApp Web, a browser-based web client that could be used by syncing with a mobile device ‘s connection. [ 146 ] On February 26, 2016, WhatsApp announced they would cease support for BlackBerry ( including BlackBerry 10 ), Nokia Series 40, and Symbian S60, [ 147 ] [ 148 ] vitamin a well as older versions of Android ( 2.2 ), Windows Phone ( 7.0 ), and io ( 6 ), by the end of 2016. [ 149 ] BlackBerry, Nokia Series 40, and Symbian support was then extended to June 30, 2017. [ 150 ] In June 2017, confirm for BlackBerry and Series 40 was once again extended until the end of 2017, while Symbian was dropped. [ 151 ] subscribe for BlackBerry and older ( version 8.0 ) Windows Phone and older ( version 6 ) io devices was dropped on January 1, 2018, but was extended to December 2018 for Nokia Series 40. [ 152 ] In July 2018, it was announced that WhatsApp would soon be available for KaiOS feature phones. [ 153 ] [ 154 ] In October 2019, WhatsApp officially launched a new fingermark app-locking feature for Android users. [ 155 ] In August 2021, WhatsApp launched a sport that allows for chat history to be transferred between mobile operating systems. The feature launched only on the Samsung phones with plans to expand to Android and io in the future. [ 156 ]

WhatsApp Web

WhatsApp was officially made available for PCs through a web node, under the appoint WhatsApp Web, [ 157 ] in deep January 2015 through an announcement made by Koum on his Facebook page : “ Our vane client is just an extension of your telephone : the web browser mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device—this means all of your messages still live on your phone ”. As of January 21, 2015, the background version was lone available to Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone users. late on, it besides added accompaniment for io, Nokia Series 40, and Nokia S60 ( Symbian ). [ 158 ] [ 159 ] previously the WhatsApp drug user ‘s handset had to be connected to the Internet for the browser application to function but as of an update in October 2021 that is no long the lawsuit. [ 160 ] All major background browsers are supported except for Internet Explorer. WhatsApp Web ‘s exploiter interface is based on the default Android one and can be accessed through web.whatsapp.com. Access is granted after the users scan their personal QR code through their mobile WhatsApp application. There are similar solutions for macOS, such as the open-source ChitChat, previously known as WhatsMac. [ 161 ] [ 162 ] [ 163 ] In January 2021, the circumscribed Android beta translation allowed users to use WhatsApp Web without having to keep the mobile app connected to the Internet. In March 2021, this beta feature was extended to iOS users. [ 164 ] however, linked devices ( using WhatsApp Web, WhatsApp Desktop or Facebook Portal ) will become disconnected if people do n’t use their telephone for over 14 days. [ 165 ] The multi-device beta can merely show messages for the end 3 months on the web version, which was not the event without the beta because the world wide web interpretation was syncing with the telephone. [ 166 ] Since April 2022, the multi-device beta is integrated by default option in WhatsApp and users can not check erstwhile messages on the network version anymore. [ 167 ] [ 168 ]

Microsoft Windows and Mac

On May 10, 2016, the messaging service was introduced for both Microsoft Windows and macOS operating systems. recently, WhatsApp added back for video calls and voice calls from their background clients. similar to the WhatsApp Web format, the app, which will be synced with a user ‘s mobile device, is available for download on the web site. It supports OS versions of Windows 8 and OS X 10.10 and higher. [ 169 ] [ 170 ] [ 171 ]

Apple iPad

As of May 2022, WhatsApp does not run on the iPad. [ 172 ] iPad users searching for WhatsApp are shown numerous third-party clients. several top results have names and logos resembling WhatsApp itself, and some users do not realize they are using a third-party client. Per WhatsApp ‘s policy, using third-party clients can result in the account getting permanently banned. [ 173 ]


WhatsApp uses a customize interpretation of the open standard Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol ( XMPP ). [ 174 ] Upon installation, it creates a exploiter account using one ‘s call number as the username ( Jabber ID : [phone number]@s.whatsapp.net ). WhatsApp software mechanically compares all the earphone numbers from the device ‘s address book with its cardinal database of WhatsApp users to automatically add contacts to the drug user ‘s WhatsApp contact tilt. previously the Android and Nokia Series 40 versions used an MD5 -hashed, reversed-version of the phone ‘s IMEI as password, [ 175 ] while the io adaptation used the telephone ‘s Wi-Fi MAC address alternatively of IMEI. [ 176 ] [ 177 ] A 2012 update now generates a random password on the server side. [ 178 ] alternatively a user can send to any contact in WhatsApp database through the url https:// api.whatsapp.com/send/?phone=[phone number] where [phone number] is the act of the contact including the country code. Some dual-SIM devices may not be compatible with WhatsApp, though non-official workarounds can be used to install the app. [ 179 ] In February 2015, WhatsApp introduced a voice calling feature of speech ; this helped WhatsApp to attract a wholly different section of the exploiter population. [ 180 ] [ 181 ] WhatsApp ‘s voice codec is Opus, [ 182 ] [ 183 ] [ 184 ] which uses the modify discrete cosine transform ( MDCT ) and analogue predictive code ( LPC ) sound recording compression algorithm. [ 185 ] WhatsApp uses Opus at 8–16 kHz sampling rates. [ 182 ] [ 184 ] On November 14, 2016, WhatsApp added a television calling feature for users across Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone devices. [ 186 ] [ 187 ] In November 2017, WhatsApp released a newly feature that would let its users delete messages sent by mistake within a time skeleton of 7 minutes. [ 188 ] Multimedia messages are sent by uploading the picture, sound recording or video recording to be sent to an HTTP server and then sending a link to the contentedness along with its Base64 encoded thumbnail ( if applicable ). [ 189 ] WhatsApp follows a “ storehouse and forward “ mechanism for exchanging messages between two users. When a drug user sends a message, it foremost travels to the WhatsApp server where it is stored. then the waiter repeatedly requests the recipient to acknowledge receipt of the message. a soon as the message is acknowledged, the server drops the message ; it is nobelium longer available in the database of the waiter. The WhatsApp server keeps the message lone for 30 days in its database when it is not delivered ( when the receiver is not active voice on WhatsApp for 30 days ). [ 190 ] [ self-published source? ]

end-to-end encoding

On November 18, 2014, Open Whisper Systems announced a partnership with WhatsApp to provide end-to-end encoding by incorporating the encoding protocol used in Signal into each WhatsApp client platform. [ 191 ] Open Whisper Systems said that they had already incorporated the protocol into the latest WhatsApp customer for Android, and that hold for other clients, group/media messages, and key verification would be coming soon after. [ 192 ] WhatsApp confirmed the partnership to reporters, but there was no announcement or software documentation about the encoding have on the official web site, and further requests for gossip were declined. [ 193 ] In April 2015, German magazine Heise Security used ARP spoofing to confirm that the protocol had been implemented for Android-to-Android messages, and that WhatsApp messages from or to iPhones running io were distillery not end-to-end encrypted. [ 194 ] They expressed the concern that regular WhatsApp users however could not tell the dispute between throughout code messages and even messages. [ 194 ] On April 5, 2016, WhatsApp and Open Whisper Systems announced that they had finished adding end-to-end encoding to “ every shape of communication ” on WhatsApp, and that users could now verify each other ‘s keys. [ 53 ] [ 195 ] Users were besides given the option to enable a believe on first use mechanism in arrange to be notified if a correspondent ‘s key changes. [ 196 ] According to a egg white paper that was released along with the announcement, WhatsApp messages are encrypted with the Signal Protocol. [ 197 ] WhatsApp calls are encrypted with SRTP, and all client-server communications are “ layer within a classify encrypted channel ”. [ 197 ] The Signal Protocol library used by WhatsApp is open-source and published under the GPLv3 license. [ 197 ] [ 198 ] On October 14, 2021, WhatsApp rolled out end-to-end encoding for backups on Android and io. The feature has to be turned on by the drug user and provides the option to encrypt the stand-in either with a password or a 64-digit encoding key. [ 199 ] The application can store code copies of the chew the fat messages onto the SD wag, however chat messages are besides stored unencrypted in the SQLite database file “ msgstore.db ”. [ 200 ]

WhatsApp Payments

WhatsApp Payments ( marketed as WhatsApp Pay ) is a peer-to-peer money transportation feature that is presently only available in India. WhatsApp has received permission from the National Payments Corporation of India ( NPCI ) to enter into partnership with multiple banks in July 2017 [ 201 ] to allow users to make in-app payments and money transfers using the Unified Payments Interface ( UPI ). [ 202 ] UPI enables account-to-account transfers from a mobile app without having any details of the beneficiary ‘s bank. [ 203 ] On November 6, 2020, WhatsApp announced that it had received approval for providing a payment service, although restricted to maximum of 20 million users initially. The service was subsequently rolled out. [ 204 ]

WhatsApp Cryptocurrency

On February 28, 2019, The New York Times reported that Facebook was “ hoping to succeed where Bitcoin failed ” by developing an in-house cryptocurrency that would be incorporated into WhatsApp. The project reportedly involves over 50 engineers under the management of early PayPal president of the united states David A. Marcus. This ‘Facebook mint ‘ would reportedly be a stablecoin pegged to the rate of a basket of unlike foreign currencies. [ 205 ] In June 2019, Facebook formally announced that the project would be named Libra, and that the company planned for a digital wallet named “ Calibra ” to be integrated into Facebook and WhatsApp. [ 206 ] After fiscal regulators in the US, Europe, and other regions raised concerns, Calibra was rebranded to Novi in May 2020, and Libra was rebranded to Diem in December 2020. Facebook has stated that Novi would require a government-issued ID for confirmation and the wallet app would have fraud security. [ 207 ] [ 208 ] [ 209 ]

Controversies and criticism


WhatsApp has repeatedly imposed limits on message forwarding in reaction to the dispersed of misinformation in countries such as India and Australia. The measure, first introduced in 2018 to combat spam, was expanded and remained active in 2021. WhatsApp has stated the forwarding limits have helped to curb the gap of misinformation regarding COVID-19. [ 210 ] [ 211 ] [ 212 ]

Murders in India

In July 2018, WhatsApp encouraged people to report deceitful or inciting messages after lynch gang in India murdered innocent people because of malicious WhatsApp messages falsely accusing the victims of intending to abduct children. [ 213 ]

2018 elections in Brazil

In an investigation on the use of social media in politics, it was found that WhatsApp was being abused for the diffuse of fudge news in the 2018 presidential elections in Brazil. [ 214 ] Furthermore, it has been reported that US $ 3 million has been spent in illegal off-the-books contributions related to this practice. [ 215 ] Researchers and journalists have called on WhatsApp parent company, Facebook, to adopt measures like to those adopted in India and restrict the spread of hoaxes and bogus news. [ 214 ]

security and privacy

WhatsApp was initially criticized for its lack of encoding, sending information as plaintext. [ 216 ] Encryption was first added in May 2012. [ 217 ] [ 218 ] [ 219 ] throughout encoding was only fully implemented in April 2016 after a biennial process. As of September 2021, it is known that WhatsApp makes extensive manipulation of outside contractors and artificial intelligence systems to examine drug user messages, images and videos ; and turns over to law enforcement metadata including critical report and localization information. [ 220 ]

In 2016, WhatsApp was widely praised for the addition of end-to-end encoding and earned a 6 out of 7 points on the Electronic Frontier Foundation ‘s “ Secure Messaging Scorecard ”. [ 221 ] WhatsApp was criticized by security researchers and the Electronic Frontier Foundation for using backups that are not covered by end-to-end encoding and allow messages to be accessed by third-parties. [ 222 ] [ 223 ] In May 2019, a security vulnerability in WhatsApp was found and fixed that allowed a distant person to install spyware by making a call which did not need to be answered. [ 224 ] [ 225 ] In September 2019, WhatsApp was criticized for its implementation of a ‘delete for everyone ‘ feature of speech. io users can elect to save media to their television camera roll automatically. When a exploiter deletes media for everyone, WhatsApp does not delete images saved in the io television camera roll and indeed those users are able to keep the images. WhatsApp released a affirmation saying that “ the feature is working by rights, ” and that images stored in the camera roll can not be deleted due to Apple ‘s security layers. [ 226 ] In November 2019, WhatsApp released a new privacy feature that let users decide who can add them to groups. [ 227 ] In December 2019, WhatsApp confirmed a security flaw that would allow hackers to use a malicious GIF picture file to gain access to the recipient role ‘s data. When the recipient opened the gallery within WhatsApp, even if not sending the malicious trope, the hack is triggered and the device and its contents become vulnerable. The flaw was patched and users were encouraged to update WhatsApp. [ 228 ] [ 229 ] [ 230 ] On December 17, 2019, WhatsApp fixed a security flaw that allowed cyber attackers to repeatedly crash the messaging lotion for all members of group old world chat, which could entirely be fixed by forcing the arrant uninstall and reinstall of the app. [ 231 ] The bug was discovered by Check Point in August 2019 and reported to WhatsApp. It was fixed in version 2.19.246 onwards. [ 232 ] [ 233 ] For security purposes, since February 1, 2020, WhatsApp has been made unavailable on smartphones using bequest operating systems like Android 2.3.7 or older and iPhone io 8 or older that are no longer updated by their providers. [ 234 ] In April 2020, the NSO Group held its governmental clients accountable for the allegation of human rights abuses by WhatsApp. In its disclosure via documents received from woo, the group claimed that the lawsuit brought against the party by WhatsApp threatened to infringe on its clients ’ “ national security and extraneous policy concerns ”. however, the caller did not reveal names of the end users, which according to a research by Citizen Lab include, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. [ 235 ] On December 16, 2020, a claim that WhatsApp gave Google entree to secret messages was included in the anti-trust case against the latter. As the complaint is heavily redacted due to being an ongoing lawsuit, it does n’t disclose whether this alleges tampering with the app ‘s end-to-end encoding or simply Google accessing drug user backups. [ 236 ] In January 2021, WhatsApp announced update to Privacy Policy which states that WhatsApp will contribution user data with Facebook and its “ family of companies ” starting February 2021. previously, users could opt-out of such data partake, but the raw policy removes this option. The new privacy policy does not apply within EU, since it is illegal under GDPR. Facebook and WhatsApp has been widely criticized for this move. [ 127 ] [ 128 ] [ 237 ] The enforcement of the privacy policy has been postponed from February 8 to May 15, 2021, [ 129 ] [ 238 ] but announced they have no plans to limit the functionality of the app for those who do n’t approve the new terms or to give them dogged reminders to do so. On October 15, 2021, WhatsApp announced that it would begin offering an end-to-end encoding service for chat backups, meaning no one-third party ( including both WhatsApp and the defile storehouse seller ) will have access to a drug user ‘s information. This new encoding feature adds an extra layer of protective covering to chat backups stored either on Apple iCloud or Google Drive. [ 239 ] On November 29, 2021, an FBI text file was uncovered by Rolling Stone, revealing that WhatsApp responds to warrants and subpoenas from the jurisprudence enforcement within minutes, providing exploiter metadata to the authorities. The metadata includes things like the user ‘s touch information and their address record. [ 240 ] In January 2022, an unsealed surveillance lotion revealed that WhatsApp started tracking 7 users from China and Macau in November 2021, based on a request from the DEA investigators. The app collected data on who the users contacted and how frequently, a well as when and how they were using the app. This is reportedly not a remarkable happening as federal agencies can use the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to covertly track users without submitting any probable causal agent or linking a user ‘s number to their identity. [ 241 ] At the beginning of 2022, it was revealed that San Diego-based inauguration Boldend had developed tools to hack WhatsApp ‘s encoding, gaining access to user data, at some point since the inauguration ‘s origin in 2017. The vulnerability was reportedly patched in January 2021. Boldend is financed, in part, by Peter Thiel, a celebrated investor in Facebook. [ 242 ]

National Health Service of the United Kingdom

In 2018, it was reported that around 500,000 National Health Service ( NHS ) staff used WhatsApp and early instant messaging systems at work and around 29,000 had faced disciplinary action for doing therefore. Higher use was reported by frontline clinical staff to keep up with care needs, even though NHS trust policies do not permit their use. [ 243 ]

Mods and imposter versions

In March 2019, WhatsApp released a steer for users who had installed unofficial modified versions of WhatsApp and warned that it may ban those using unofficial clients. [ 244 ]

WhatsApp snooping scandal

In May 2019, WhatsApp was attacked by hackers who installed spyware on a act of victims ‘ smartphones. [ 245 ] The hack, allegedly developed by Israeli surveillance technology firm NSO Group, injected malware onto WhatsApp users ’ phones via a remote-exploit bug in the app ‘s Voice over IP calling functions. A Wired report noted the attack was able to inject malware via calls to the targeted phone, even if the exploiter did not answer the address. [ 246 ] On October 29, WhatsApp filed a lawsuit against NSO Group in a San Francisco woo, claiming that the alleged cyberattack violated US laws including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ( CFAA ). [ 247 ] According to WhatsApp, the feat “ targeted at least 100 human-rights defenders, journalists and other members of civil society ” among a sum of 1,400 users in 20 countries. [ 248 ] [ 249 ] [ 250 ] On July 16, 2020, a US union estimate ruled that the lawsuit against NSO group could proceed. NSO Group filed a movement to have the lawsuit dismissed, but the pronounce denied all of its arguments. [ 251 ] In April 2020, the NSO Group held its governmental clients accountable for the allegation of human rights abuses by WhatsApp. In its revelation via documents received via court, the group claimed that the lawsuit brought against the company by WhatsApp threatened to infringe on its clients ’ “ national security and alien policy concerns ”. however, the company did not reveal the names of the end users, which according to a research by Citizen Lab include, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. [ 252 ]

Jeff Bezos phone hack

In January 2020, a digital forensic analysis revealed that the Amazon collapse Jeff Bezos received an code message on WhatsApp from the official account of Saudi Arabia ’ s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The message reportedly contained a malicious file, the reception of which resulted in Bezos ’ earphone being hacked. The United Nations ’ especial rapporteur David Kaye and Agnes Callamard late confirmed that Jeff Bezos ’ phone was hacked through WhatsApp, as he was one of the targets of Saudi ‘s hit number of individuals close to The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. [ 253 ]

Tek Fog

In January 2022, an probe by The Wire found that BJP, an amerind political party allegedly used an app called Tek Fog which was able of hacking inactive WhatsApp accounts en masse in order to mass message their contacts with propaganda. According to the Wire, a whistle blower with app access was able to hack a test WhatsApp history controlled by reporters “ within minutes. ” [ 254 ] [ 255 ]


In December 2015, it was reported that a terrorists organization ISIS had been using WhatsApp to plot the November 2015 Paris attacks. [ 256 ] According to The Independent, ISIS besides uses WhatsApp to dealings sex slaves. [ 257 ] In March 2017, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said encoding capabilities of message tools like WhatsApp are unacceptable, as news reported that Khalid Masood used the application several minutes before perpetrating the 2017 Westminster fire. Rudd publicly called for patrol and news agencies to be given access to WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging services to prevent future terror attacks. [ 258 ] In April 2017, the perpetrator of the Stockholm hand truck attack reportedly used WhatsApp to exchange messages with an ISIS patron curtly before and after the incident. The messages involved discussing how to make an explosive device and a confession to the attack. [ 259 ] In April 2017, closely 300 WhatsApp groups with about 250 members each were reportedly being used to mobilize stone-pelters in Jammu and Kashmir to disrupt security forces ‘ operations at meeting sites. According to patrol, 90 % of these groups were closed down after counselling of admins of these groups. [ 260 ] Further, after a six-month probe which involved the percolation of 79 WhatsApp groups, the National Investigation Agency reported that out of about 6386 members and admins of these groups, about 1000 were residents of Pakistan and gulf nations. Further, for their serve in negating anti-terror operations, the indian stone pelters were getting funded through barter craft from Pakistan and other collateral means. [ 261 ]

Scams and malware

There are numerous ongoing scams on WhatsApp that lease hackers spread viruses or malware. [ 262 ] In May 2016, some WhatsApp users were reported to have been tricked into downloading a third-party lotion called WhatsApp Gold, which was part of a scam that infected the users ‘ phones with malware. [ 263 ] A message that promises to allow access to their WhatsApp friends ‘ conversations, or their contact lists, has become the most popular strike against anyone who uses the application in Brazil. Clicking on the message actually sends pay text messages. Since December 2016, more than 1.5 million people have clicked and lost money. [ 264 ] Another application called GB WhatsApp is considered malicious by cybersecurity firm Symantec because it normally performs some unauthorized operations on end-user devices. [ 265 ]



WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, whose chief social media serve has been blocked in China since 2009. [ 266 ] In September 2017, security researchers reported to The New York Times that the WhatsApp serve had been completely blocked in China. [ 267 ] [ 268 ]


On May 9, 2014, the government of Iran announced that it had proposed to block the access to WhatsApp service to iranian residents. “ The reason for this is the assumption of WhatsApp by the Facebook fall through Mark Zuckerberg, who is an american zionist, ” said Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, capitulum of the area ‘s Committee on Internet Crimes. Subsequently, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani issued an order to the Ministry of ICT to stop percolate WhatsApp. [ 269 ] [ 270 ]


Turkey temporarily banned WhatsApp in 2016, following the assassination of the russian ambassador to Turkey. [ 271 ]


On March 1, 2016, Diego Dzodan, Facebook ‘s vice-president for Latin America was arrested in Brazil for not cooperating with an investigation in which WhatsApp conversations were requested. [ 272 ] On March 2, 2016, at dawn the next day, Dzodan was released because the Court of Appeal held that the halt was disproportionate and unreasonable. [ 273 ] On May 2, 2016, mobile providers in Brazil were ordered to block WhatsApp for 72 hours for the serve ‘s second bankruptcy to cooperate with condemnable woo orders. [ 274 ] once again, the block was lifted following an solicitation, after less than 24 hours. [ 275 ] Brazil ‘s Central Bank issued an decree to Visa and Mastercard on June 23, 2020, to stop working with WhatsApp on its new electronic payment system. A statement from the Bank asserted the decision to block the Facebook-owned company ‘s latest propose was taken in order to “ preserve an adequate competitive environment ” in the mobile payments distance and to ensure “ function of a payment system that ‘s exchangeable, fast, secure, diaphanous, open and bum. ” [ 276 ] [ 277 ]


The politics of Uganda banned WhatsApp and Facebook, along with other social media platforms, to enforce a tax on the use of social media. [ 278 ] Users are to be charged 200 shilling per day to entree these services according to the raw law set by parliament. [ 279 ]

United Arab Emirates ( UAE )

The United Arab Emirates banned WhatsApp video recording chat and VoIP call applications [ 280 ] [ 281 ] in american samoa early as 2013 [ 282 ] due to what is much reported as an effort to protect the commercial interests of their dwelling grown nationally owned telecommunication providers ( du and Etisalat ). [ 282 ] Their app ToTok has received press suggesting it is able to spy on users. [ 281 ] [ 283 ]


In July 2021, the Cuban government blocked access to several social media platforms, including WhatsApp, to curb the gap of information during the anti-government protests. [ 284 ]


In December 2021, the swiss united states army banned the manipulation of WhatsApp and several early non-Swiss encrypted messaging services by army personnel. The ban was prompted by concerns of US authorities potentially accessing user data for such apps because of the CLOUD Act. The army recommended that all army personnel use Threema rather, as the service is based in Switzerland. [ 285 ]


In August 2021, the digital rights organization Access now reported that WhatsApp along with several early social media apps was being blocked in Zambia for the duration of the general election. The arrangement reported a massive decrease in traffic for the block services, though the nation ‘s government made no official statements about the block. [ 286 ]

Third-party clients

In mid-2013, WhatsApp Inc. filed for the DMCA takedown of the discussion thread on the XDA Developers forums about the then popular third-party client “ WhatsApp Plus ”. [ 287 ] In 2015, some third-party WhatsApp clients that were reverse-engineering the WhatsApp mobile app, received a end and abstain to stop activities that were violating WhatsApp legal terms. As a leave, users of third-party WhatsApp clients were besides banned. [ 288 ]

WhatsApp Business

In September 2017, WhatsApp confirmed rumors [ 289 ] [ 290 ] that they were building and testing two new tools for businesses. [ 109 ] The apps were launched in January 2018, [ 291 ] separated by the intended userbase :

  • A WhatsApp Business app for small companies[292]
  • An Enterprise Solution for bigger companies with global customer bases, such as airlines, e-commerce retailers and banks, who would be able to offer customer service and conversational commerce (e-commerce) via WhatsApp chat, using live agents or chatbots. (As far back as 2015, companies like Meteordesk[293] had provided unofficial solutions for enterprises to attend to large numbers of users, but these were shut down by WhatsApp.)

In October 2020, Facebook announced the introduction of pricing tiers for services offered via the WhatsApp Business API, charged on a per-message basis. [ 294 ] [ 295 ]

User statistics

WhatsApp handled ten billion messages per day in August 2012, [ 296 ] growing from two billion in April 2012, [ 297 ] and one billion the former October. [ 298 ] On June 13, 2013, WhatsApp announced that they had reached their new daily read by processing 27 billion messages. [ 299 ] According to the Financial Times, WhatsApp “ has done to SMS on mobile phones what Skype did to external calling on landlines ”. [ 300 ] By April 22, 2014, WhatsApp had over 500 million monthly active users, 700 million photos and 100 million videos were being shared daily, and the message system was handling more than 10 billion messages each sidereal day. [ 301 ] [ 302 ] On August 24, 2014, Koum announced on his chitter account that WhatsApp had over 600 million active users worldwide. At that point WhatsApp was adding about 25 million newfangled users every month, or 833,000 active users per day. [ 83 ] [ 303 ] In May 2017, it was reported that WhatsApp users spend over 340 million minutes on television calls each day on the app. This is the equivalent of roughly 646 years of video calls per day. [ 304 ] By February 2017, WhatsApp had over 1.2 billion users globally, [ 305 ] reaching 1.5 billion monthly active users by the end of 2017. [ 306 ] In January 2020, WhatsApp registers over 5 billion installs on Google Play Store making it only the moment non-Google app to achieve this milestone. [ 307 ] As of February 2020, WhatsApp had over 2 billion users globally. [ 308 ] [ 309 ]

specific markets

India is by far WhatsApp ‘s largest market in terms of total number of users. In May 2014, WhatsApp crossed 50 million monthly active users in India, which is besides its largest state by the number of monthly active voice users, [ 310 ] then 70 million in October 2014, making users in India 10 % of WhatsApp ‘s full exploiter base. [ 311 ] In February 2017, WhatsApp reached 200 million monthly active users in India. [ 312 ] Israel is one of WhatsApp ‘s strongest markets in terms of omnipresent custom. According to Globes, already by 2013 the application was installed on 92 % of all smartphones, with 86 % of users reporting casual use. [ 313 ] WhatsApp ‘s group chat sport is reportedly used by many israeli families to stay in reach with each other. [ 314 ]


WhatsApp competes with a number of messaging services. They include services like iMessage ( estimated 1.3 billion active users [ 315 ] ), WeChat ( 1.2 billion active agent users [ 316 ] [ 317 ] ), Telegram ( 500 million users [ 318 ] ), Viber ( 260 million active users [ 319 ] ), LINE ( 217 million active users [ 320 ] ), and Signal ( over 50 million active voice users [ 321 ] ). Both Telegram and Signal in finical were reported to get registration spikes during WhatsApp outages and controversies. [ 322 ] [ 323 ] [ 324 ] WhatsApp has increasingly drawn its initiation from competing services, [ 325 ] such as a Telegram-inspired web version [ 326 ] and features for groups. [ 327 ] In 2016, WhatsApp was accused of copying features from a then-unreleased interpretation of iMessage. [ 328 ]

See besides


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