WhatsApp is the most popular secure messaging platform in the world. This hugely popular service has over 2 billion loyal users that love to exchange end-to-end encrypted messages and calls every day.
WhatsApp is very similar to other text messaging services, however, it offers superior encryption not only for messaging but also for voice and video calls as well.
It’s simple to use, intuitive, free, and you can communicate with other people without any limits. All you need is a smartphone and a phone number.
WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, which may cause concerns from some people. We all know about the privacy issues of Facebook. Just a simple fact of being owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s company can by a red flag for someone, but WhatsApp is still a leading secure messaging platform on the planet.
Here are some of the reasons WhatsApp is still so popular.
WhatsApp Is Free
WhatsApp is free. The app is free to download from Google Play or Apple Store, and free to use. It uses your phone’s Internet connection (4G/3G/2G/EDGE or Wi-Fi) to send and receive messages to your friends and family. According to the official statement:
“You don’t have to pay for every message. As long as you haven’t exceeded your data limit or you’re connected to a free Wi-Fi network, your carrier shouldn’t charge you extra for messaging over WhatsApp. Calling works in the same way.”
WhatsApp is completely add-free…for now. It’s almost a miracle that an app owned by Facebook doesn’t use any sort of ads.
However, there was a rumor that Facebook intended to introduce targeted adverts inside WhatsApp. The company quickly backs down on plans to fill your chat with advertisements, but we all know how Facebook is looking for ways to boost its revenue. According to us, adverts will be added to WhatsApp in the near future.
It Works On Most Platforms
WhatsApp is available on Android, iOS, Windows Phones, Nokia, KaiOS, Jio, and Desktop.
You Are Your Number
WhatsApp identifies users by their phone numbers. There is no need to add contacts. When you download the app, you have to pass verification, and then WhatsApp scans your address book and connects you with those who have WhatsApp already installed. It is fast and simple.
Free International Calls
WhatsApp offers free video calling and free voice calls. It uses your phone’s Internet connection (4G/3G/2G/EDGE or Wi-Fi) to make it possible, so you are paying only for data consumption. If you have an unlimited data plan, then you pay nothing for using WhatsApp calling feature.
WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption for messaging, but also for voice and video calls. Just like Apple’s iMessage and Signal. In theory, all messages and calls made through the platform are secured and can be viewed only by the sender and the recipient.
WhatsApp has for its users a set of useful features such as group chat or sending multimedia elements. It also offers free calling features, video calling, and recorded voice messages.
Easy To Use
There is no need to sign-up via email or add friends/follow people. There is no complicated installation or verification process. The interface is easy to understand and has the minimal required features: texting, sending images or audion, having groups, blocking people, or calling anyone from your contacts who have WhatsApp installed.
Is WhatsApp Safe?
Yes, WhatsApp is safe to use. The platform has one of the best end-to-end encryption in the world. According to the WhatsApp FAQs page,
“WhatsApp end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what’s sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. Your messages are secured with locks, and only the recipient and you have the special keys needed to unlock and read your messages. For added protection, every message you send has a unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically.”
Is WhatsApp More Secure Than SMS?
This is a difficult question. WhatsApp is an extremely secure platform, on the other hand, SMS is also secure. There is a reason why password resets, net banking, OTPs, and a lot of other privacy-related information are sent via SMS.
If you believe that Facebook doesn’t monitor your chats for its business, then you should believe, that your mobile operator doesn’t read your messages.
Why Is WhatsApp More Popular Than SMS in Europe?
When WhatsApp rolled out in 2009, it was the first of its kind. It was to free messaging what Skype was to free calling.
So, why has WhatsApp become so popular among Europeans? Because in Europe sending an SMS to another European country usually involves additional fees and WhatsApp solved that. For Europeans, WhatsApp is free and SMS is not.
People in Europe are also frequent travelers and WhatsApp fills a key role in international texting. It also allows users to send text messages to other users without counting works and without restriction on multimedia attachments.
Main photo by Torsten Dettlaff