WhatsApp is a cross platform, proprietary, encrypted messaging client for the mobile phones that requires the internet facility to data to other device in the network. In this platform, the users are allowed to send data like the text messages, videos, audios, documents, images and user locations.
The application was founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton in 2009 that is based in the Mountain view, California. The initial idea of the app can with the thought of having some statuses next to the individual names of the people and was developed with the help of a Russian iPhone developer, Igor Solomennikov from RentACorder.com.
In the initial stage the app got struck at specific points and kept crashing, by June 2009 Apple introduced a push notification that allows the developers to ping with the users when they are not accessing the app. This allowed Koum to update the WhatsApp app; hence whenever the user changed their status, it will ping to all the members in that particular network.
The new version of the app, WhatsApp 2.0 was released with some specific features and active users drastically increased to 250,000. After the end of the beta stage, the app was launched in November for the iPhone users in the App store; they even launched their Blackberry version after 2 months.
The service was for free in the initial stage, but soon after its growth it was moved to a paid service because the main cost was to send confirmation texts to the users. The app was later updated to send photos by December 2009. Among the top twenty apps WhatsApp was one of the apps in the App Store in the United States.
The company received $250,000 million from seed funding in 2011 in which it received eight million dollars for more than 15% of the company from Sequoia Capital. By 2013, WhatsApp valued $1.5 billion dollars in which the Sequoia Capital invested around fifty million dollars. The company then had fifty employees and their user base grew up to twenty million. The company was acquired by Facebook in the year 2014.
Unlimited Access To IM Services
WhatsApp has become an important part of one’s life, as everyone makes use of this platform to share their everyday activities and routines with their family and friends. Thus, it is hard for people to stay away from this app as it has eliminated the traditional way of texting for the scene. Knowing its popularity among the public, one of United State’s mobile network service providers, FreedomPop has introduced a new plan that offers people to access WhatsApp for free in thirty countries. Thus, even if the user is abroad or has roaming, they can use the messaging app for free.
With this offer, the company expects to get many more users to sign in with the service in the United States. The introduction of the instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, LINE, BBM, Viber, Hangouts, Messenger and others have eliminated the necessity of the traditional text messaging and voice service. The company offers a zero rated model that gives the exclusive SIM cards with a free data plan that allows the users to access the WhatsApp messaging app.
This zero rating technique is a practice followed by some of the mobile service providers that allows the users to access a specific application for free in that service. This practice is a commercial agreement that is signed between the company and the mobile network or the ISP (internet service provider), so that many people would access the application.
Along with free access to WhatsApp, the company offers the users with additional benefits like five hundred SMS, hundred voice minutes and 200MB of mobile internet. Initially after its launch, the company focused on the United States, later many other countries and this plan are offered in thirty countries like the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Portugal apart from the United States.
Mobile Service Provider
FreedomPop is a mobile service and wireless internet provider that has its headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Those users who use this service can benefit from the offers free by the company that includes the mobiles, tablets and broadband devices free data and text and voice. It is backed by the DCM Capital, Mangrove Capital, Partech Ventures, Axiata, Atomico and Intel. The company was founded in 2011 by Steven Sesar and Stephen Stokols.
Including fifty million dollars in Series C in 2016, the company has raised over one hundred and ninety million dollars. The company in 2012 started selling 4G hotspots and provided mobile and wireless internet services in the US with the help of the Clearwire’s 4G network. The company converted twenty percent of their free users in December 201 to paid users.
The company partnered with the Sprint in April 2013 to expand their coverage with the compatible devices from Sprit that includes the 3G and 4G services. After the completion of a year, the company launched their beta plan in October 2013 that includes free text, voice and internet data service. And in April 2014, the company supported and began selling Sprint’s compatible iPhones and released a new iOS app that provides the users in the United States with voicemail, text and voice service.
The company released their exclusive branded smartphones and tablets at low cost and the first product was the FreedomPop Liberty, a 7 inch tablet with free Wi-Fi, text messaging and voice service. Later in January, the company offered a Wi-Fi plan that connects the entire country with ten million hotspots at five dollars a month. They ventured into the global market in May 2015 by expanding their service in the United Kingdom.
In November they partnered with Intel to build a smartphone that focuses entirely on the Wi-Fi technology and the device was based on the Sofia chipset of the Intel that can switch between the cellular network and Wi-Fi connectivity during calls.
In the beginning of 2016 the introduced a global SIM for free data use in the UK and US. This service was provided by the Fogg mobiles that makes use of the T-mobile and AT & T for the global mobile connection. By the end of this year the company has plans to expand their coverage in Latin America and Southeast Asia. The company will have its third outlet in Spain.
Zero Rated Access
Even before the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook, there were many mobile network providers in the markets offered zero rated access to the app. One of the most exceptional case was, the German mobile company, E-plus partnered with WhatsApp to launch a customized WhatsApp SIM. The main aim of the SIM was to allow the traditional and dedicated app users to access the app with unlimited service regardless of the data pack for that month.
The main difference between the WhatsApp SIM plan and the FreedomPop offer is that the later works entirely on their own without any partnership. This kind of a plan will definitely attract a large crowd.