As WhatsApp launches its web app for iOS – porting the 900 million-strong messaging service to allow iPhone users to send and receive messages through a browser – the top country it’s used in (South Africa) offers a timely reminder of just how good a messaging service it is. It is often the first or second app people install on their new smartphones, research shows.
Indeed, when South Africa’s President laughed at his critics in the country’s Parliament over the controversial $18 million the government paid for “security upgrades” to his personal home in the rural KwaZulu-Natal province, a hip-hop remix featuring a sample of his laugh went viral. But, if you find the song about the corruption scandal on YouTube, it has a paltry 28,743 views.
The reason for this is most people shared the video via WhatsApp, the hugely successful messaging app that Facebook bought for $22bn and which now has 900 million active users