WhatsApp History and Success Story: Second most popular Social Media Site from Rejected Ones

Failure and rejection are not setbacks, they are steps of learning. Brian Acton and Jan Koum, two former employees of yahoo were rejected by facebook when they applied for the job. They created their own social media platform called WhatsApp. We will look at History and Success Story of WhatsApp.

Once rejected by facebook, their platform WhatsApp was acquired by facebook for $ 19.3 billion in 2014. Let’s read more about history and success story of second most popular social media site of 2018 WhatsApp.

About WhatsApp Founder

History of WhatsApp dates back to 2009. WhatsApp was founded on February 24, 2009 as WhatsApp Inc. in California by Jan Koum. Koum realized the potential of App store after he purchased Iphone in 2009.

Jan Koum, Co-founder WhatsApp

The main idea behind building WhatsApp was having status next to individual names of the people. Koum named the app “WhatsApp” to sound like “whats up”.

Koum felt like giving up as early version of WhatsApp often crashed or got stuck at a particular point but Brian Acton convinced him to wait for few more months .

Early Stage of WhatsApp

Apple launched push notifications in June 2009 allowing users to be pinged when they were not using an app. Jan Koum changed WhatsApp so that when a user’s status is changed; everyone in the user’s network would be notified. Koum released WhatsApp 2.0 with additional features of messaging. This is one the the turning point in history and success of WhatsApp.

Messaging feature of WhatsApp started getting popular among the audience. WhatsApp saw the increase in number of active user up to 250000 when messaging component was included in WhatsApp.

Brain Acton, Co-founder WhatsApp

Till then Brian Acton was working in another company and managing startup business. In 2009, he decided to join the company. He brought seed fund into the business with the help of his friends. Acton became co-founder and was given a stake in the company.

Growth Stage of WhatsApp

After working as a beta for months, WhatsApp finally was launched on App store in November 2009. The blackberry version of the App arrived two months later.

WhatsApp switched from free service to paid available service. This strategy was implemented by WhatsApp to avoid growing too fast. In December 2009, new feature of sending photos was added to WhatsApp on iPhone.

The move became success for WhatsApp and it was one of the top 20 App on the App store by early 2011.

In April 2011, WhatsApp found partner and investor in Sequoia Capital. Sequoia Capital invested $8 million for 15 percent stake of the company. WhatsApp continued to grow in this period. It racked up 200 million active users and 50 staff members by the end of February 2013. Sequoia Capital made additional investment of $50 million and WhatsApp was valued at $1.5 billion by 2013.

Facebook on February 19, 2014 announced that it was acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion, making it facebook largest acquisition till date.

Current days of WhatsApp

WhatsApp received major share of criticism as the platform was charging $1 subscription fees to their users. Co-founder Jan Koum announced in 2016 that it would no longer charge the subscription fee.

The other main criticism of WhatsApp was the amount of fake news spread in the platform. WhatsApp announced that it will start to crack down fake news in its platform.

WhatsApp Continued to add new features over the period of time such as messaging component, sending image, sharing video, send voice message and making voice call.  These features have contributed in the huge popularity of WhatsApp.

Chris Daniels, CEO WhatsApp

Co-founder Brian Acton left the company to start a non-profit venture and more recently another co-founder Jan Koum also stated that he was leaving the company in 2018. Facebook announced that Chris Daniels will replace Koum as the CEO of the company.

WhatsApp is now operating 180 countries in the world with estimated 1.5 billion active users on the platform.

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