It still feels like WhatsApp came to market just a few years ago, but a decade has literally passed. Do you know who named the app and when it was launched? WhatsApp was founded by two former Yahoo employees, Brian Acton and Jan Koum, who even applied for jobs on Facebook but were rejected. This article we are discussing about a brief history of Whatsapp.
In 2009, Koum’s idea was discussed with three friends and a Russian developer was found for the purpose. Koum named the app “WhatsApp” to make it sound like “What’s up”, and on February 24 the app was available in the App Store.
If you don’t know, every app isn’t perfect at first, and with time, when people and the app testers report problems, it’s that moment that makes people lose interest in further updating the app. The same thing happened with Koum, and he felt he should find a job somewhere, but Acton was there to encourage him by saying he should only wait a few months. In 2009, when Apple introduced a push notification feature, Koum updated his app and version 2.0 got 250k users.
Did you know that the service was switched from “free” to “paid” for a while so as not to develop too quickly?
In 2011, WhatsApp was among the App Store’s top 20 apps and Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm, invested nearly $8 million for fifteen percent of the company. In February 2013, WhatsApp had more than 200 million users and fifty employees. Here, Sequoia invested another $50 million, bringing the value of WhatsApp to $1.5 billion.
In 2014, Facebook made the largest acquisition in the history of the venture-backed company. Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion, and people had to switch to other apps because the service was unavailable for some time. At that time, other apps such as Telegram and Line claimed to have noticed millions of downloads.