On Whatsapp extending deadlines and (finally) adding video calling

Whatsapp is on a roll, They have finally added video calling to their wildly successful messaging app. An app that has over 1 billion users.

This is interesting as it effectively turns Whatsapp into an all-in-one communication app. You can now use Whatsapp to exclusively communicate with anybody, anywhere. You can send text or pictures or audio or documents to others, you can have a live phone call or video call through Whatsapp.

The bigger news is that Whatsapp is no longer dumping Nokia and BlackBerry phones by end of 2016 as previously announced. They are extending the deadline by a further 6 months, why did they do this?

Reading in between the lines, I deduced that Whatsapp for all its privacy talk knows exactly which devices are used to access their service and they must have observed that people are not ditching their old Nokia and BlackBerry phones fast enough and if they cut access on December 31, 2016, too many people might be cut off. (I am yet to ditch mine too! I need to buy a new phone ASAP)

This teaches us to study our customers, all classes of our customers and craft policies that can accommodate all of them as much as possible.

It is easier to build a video calling app than to attract 1 billion users. This is why Whatsapp cannot afford to just throw away their users all in the name of moving forward with the hottest and latest mobile devices in town.

I am impressed that Whatsapp was able to introduce all these features, yet the app itself still looks simple and approachable. Not every company can pull it off. Some had to introduce a companion app for video, like Google’s recently released app: Allo and Duo (Duo is for video chatting).

Whatsapp is on a roll and they are going on to takeover if they continue to execute at this rate.

Whatsapp is not the first app to offer video calling, we have been Skyping since forever, yet there is something about Whatsapp. There is something about these Whatsapp guys…


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