Before you start the article, I’d like to clarify the use of the verb “to need”. Technically, WhatsApp does not need anything, it is one of the most successful messaging applications of all time and an honorary member of the “club of the billion facilities”. Be understood as a recommendation that can share, or not.
Now, it is also true that WhatsApp lives, and much of the income. Heading has not gone them bad and now, six years later, still continues. Everything in this life is suffering erosion of time but WhatsApp is no exception.
Inertia does not last forever: the Messenger case
WhatsApp became our lives back in 2010, a time in which many of us chat was synonymous of Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger. In mobile it was a little more difficult because somewhat more limited power were, but that was more than the official clients (the Messenger always was very bad or non-existent) were the applications for various messaging networks as Nimbuzz or Fring.
Just as today we say “send me a WhatsApp”, then we said “Add me to Messenger”. It seemed that the reign of Messenger would last a thousand years. (Almost) everyone had a count and it seemed impossible that people started to chat on another network or simply to stop doing so. Except that that is precisely what happened..
The old “Messenger”. Will the same thing happen to WhatsApp?
The time is unforgiving, and the inability of Microsoft to keeping up with updates and remove an acceptable client for mobile coupled with the enormous strength of the social networks as Facebook or Tuenti began flight users. Did not happen from one day to another, but incessantly. Whenever a user gets tired of the messaging network, the utility of it boils down to your network of friends, so the leak once it has begun, the snowball effect does the rest.
Does WhatsApp Messenger and in fact, WhatsApp was probably the final nail in the coffin of Messenger that Microsoft was finally buried in 2012. Skype should be the natural successor of Messenger (which Microsoft bought a year earlier). “Everyone has and loves Skype, so use it to chat right?, right?”, seemed to think a manager of Microsoft. Not really. WhatsApp was already standard and Skype was a disaster for chatting, a mess that even today, four years later, is trying to arrange the Redmond company.
Has it begun the decline of WhatsApp?
WhatsApp, now seems to be in a similar situation. Maintains a predominant position in the market in a number of countries, but also It is losing bellows down the road. It is not so serious to take the hands to the head, but it is inevitable to think that while WhatsApp years ago it was an almost magical application to send free “SMS” (a luxury in countries where SMS were quite expensive as in Spain), today technically is one application more than so many others that do the same.
That lift hand who has tried another application of messaging and somehow have felt impressed by any function not available on WhatsApp, without hardly improvements or changes for years. Same as Microsoft ignored the thrust of social networks and mobile phones, today WhatsApp opts for ignore the benefits of the conversations in the cloud and cross-platform communication (Yes, the client for Windows and web is little more than a fudge to get away).
WhatsApp on PC: a little successful workaround
The young they are not very much in the sights of this messaging application. The interface is pulling to boring, no great possibilities for entertainment more than send messages text, emojis of more normal and photos. The basic package. There are no stickers, animated GIF of Internet or anything to make it especially attractive for the coming generations and which, whether we like it or not, are so interested to communicate and you have fun while doing it.
WhatsApp has several advantages over the competition. The interface is quite simple, doesn’t use too many resources, is faster and more or less reliable. However, the main advantage is probably another inherited from the past: the bulk of users. Is this enough to keep head indefinitely? We have already seen that Messenger not earned him, disappearing completely more than one decade later. The story has no why repeated and less with pinpoint accuracy, but if so, to WhatsApp would be more or less five years.
Afraid to innovate
One of the problems of WhatsApp today is that It is not very clear what is and what you want to be. On the one hand, clings to his traditional speech of the protection of privacy, while on the other hand it belongs to Facebook from two years ago, a social network that as such advocates the opposite: share with others both advertisers.
The speech in recent times is that WhatsApp, as well as Hangouts, would focus a little more in more serious applications, materialized late in the submission of documents and the imminent arrival of the profiles of companies. It is as if Facebook was reserving the most trivial use communication for another application of messaging, Facebook Messenger. Here are all kinds of experiments, animated GIF of Giphy, stickers, bots and integration with all kinds of services.
For its part, the most exciting thing that has become in WhatsApp WhatsApp lately are… the animated GIF? More or less, since they technically are videos.
WhatsApp never known precisely for being too fast developing innovations. It took blood, sweat and tears get voice calls, and history seems to be repeating itself now with video calls. Unlike the applications of Facebook, where the maximum is “Ship early and ship twice as often”, with constant experiments that sometimes go well, sometimes go wrong, WhatsApp is more cautious with its innovations.
These novelties coming afternoon, in many cases incomplete and in the majority of cases of unsatisfactory form. While in Telegram each version includes at least some visible novelty, WhatsApp should suffer to have a shipment of “GIF” that is little more than a chapucilla.
The fear of WhatsApp is understandable. The number of users is simply breathtaking and the slightest change causes commotion around the world. I’d also be afraid to unleash anger around the world, but if WhatsApp still based its success on inertia and the acquired base of users by their early arrival to the market, it is possible that your piece of the pie will be reduced in the medium term.
Finally and after, with mobile increasingly powerful, it is no longer a reason to choose between one or the other, and are increasingly the people who installed several messaging applications (I have six) and end up using that like most. Today at best I speak with two friends through another application, tomorrow with three… and in a few months or need to open WhatsApp.