WhatsApp WhatsApp is a cross-platform instant messaging service for smartphones that relies on the internet for the transmission of messages. Based on a low-cost subscription model, WhatsApp is a cheap alternative to carrier-billed text messaging via SMS, especially for international or group messaging. The mobile messaging app enables users to share text, image and video messages. In the United States, the WhatsApp audience amounted to 18.8 million users in 2016 and is set to grow to 25.6 million users 2021.
WhatsApp is especially popular in markets outside the United States while facing strong competition from Asia-based social messenger apps such as WeChat, LINE or Kakaotalk. WhatsApp’s popularity in emerging mobile markets is not only based on their low-cost business model but on many of its features.
In February 2014, social network Facebook acquired WhatsApp for 19 billion U.S. dollars.