What’s up WhatsApp?


What’s up! These are the first two words that nearly start every conversation. WhatsApp, a messaging application, was recently bought by Facebook for $19 billion.

WhatsApp provides a fun, easy way to keep in touch with friends. Users can send texts, pictures and even engage in group messages when using Wi-Fi or a data plan. WhatsApp is known especially for its ability to connect users internationally.

Senior Jasmine Haitalani is a frequent user of WhatsApp. The app allows her to communicate with loved ones in her home country.

“I usually talk to relatives and friends back home in Syria,” Haitalani said. I like that you can talk to people for free without paying.”

As people are always looking for a cheaper, easier way to do things, texting apps such as WhatsApp are becoming more popular. For a mere $1 a year, users can message their friends without any limits, instead of paying higher rates for generic texting.

“I like WhatsApp because it allows me to interact with people near and far, for practically nothing,” sophomore Loui Al- Ayoubi said.

Other students like that fact that messaging apps offer a customized and more private experience in contrast to ordinary texting.

Compared to the amount it costs to get a texting plan from phone carriers, using an app may seem to be a good deal to many. It is no wonder more and more people are making the switch.

The question now is whether the huge investment will be a success or loss for Facebook, considering the company bought Instagram for only $1 billion in 2012.

Many students are skeptical whether WhatsApp will be as enjoyable under Facebook’s management.

“No, I think that it’s a bad idea that Facebook bought WhatsApp,” Hitalani said. “[Now], it’s going to be filled with ads.”

“I think it’s a bad idea because no one uses Facebook [and its services] anymore,”sophomore Jocelyn Giron said. They’re all using Twitter and Tumblr. It’s just a way [for them] to make money. It’s not going to work because no one knows about WhatsApp, unlike others such as KiK and Snapchat.”

WhatsApp recently announced that it would be adding a voice feature to the App.

The new feature will help cater to the new users always looking to socialize in different platforms.

With almost half a billion users subscribed to WhatsApp,  there could be a change coming for cell phone plans as people begin to switch over to using messaging apps to text.

There are many different options to pick from if you want to use a messaging App.

As a result of Facebook’s marketing and technological influence on WhatsApp, a sudden surge of similar and competing apps will start to emerge.

Sophomore Vanessa Nikolic is a regular user of KiK, a similar competing app with many of the same features as WhatsApp.

“You can communicate easier because you can set up a profile picture and you don’t have to use your real phone number,” Nikolic said.  “You can delete your username if somebody’s being a creep.”

Other popular messaging apps that are already popular with students  include Viber, Line, KakaoTalk and Snapchat have large followings among students.

The trend of using messaging apps is growing rapidly.  Although people will still have to pay for a data plan to use them everywhere, using these apps could save many people a lot of money.