WhatsApp has finally fixed perhaps its most glaring problem and released an official app for desktop. They previously had the functionality for users to log into their WhatsApp account via a web programme, however this lacked features like video/picture messaging – meaning that only 30% of all users actually utilised the web platform.
WhatsApp said that it had introduced the app to let people ‘stay in touch anytime or anywhere, whether on your phone or computer at home or work’. The desktop app doesn’t work on its own and is synced with your phone, therefore it will still require the handset to be turned on and have an internet connection. It requires that people also sign up using their phone number, linking via a QR code – there is no tablet functionality as of yet. By linking it with your phone, WhatsApp feel that this is an imperative step to ensure security on the application. It means that all messages are sent to one specific device, making it easier to know if somebody’s account has been hacked, and also makes it easy to stop people using an account if it has been hacked.
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After downloading the desktop app, which was an incredibly simple process, I’m pleased to see that it has all the same functionalities as Skype. Not only does it make everything between your mobile and desktop more streamlined, it will also make it far easier to keep in contact when abroad rather than having to locate your friends and families’ Skype usernames. This new development links with the rumours that WhatsApp at some point in time will roll out advertising to boost revenue since they removed their subscription fee. Worldwide, the potential for advertising on WhatsApp is huge, not only are they owned by Facebook – so that would open up all of their targeting functionalities – but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a recent conference talked of WhatsApp being at nearly 500 million users. This could be the new social advertising platform so watch this space.