WhatsApp is a company providing a free messaging service app for smartphone users. WhatsApp was developed by ex-Yahoo! employees Jan Koum and Brian Acton in 2009 with the goal of being an accessible alternative to traditional call and messaging services. The app is now used by over two billion users worldwide. The company was acquired by Meta (previously Facebook, Inc.) in February 2014. WhatsApp is headquartered in Menlo Park, California.
The app supports voice and video calls in addition to sending and receiving a variety of media: text, photos, videos, documents, and more. In addition to calls and messaging, the app allows users to share location, broadcast status to contacts, broadcast messages to multiple contacts, share contacts, set customized wallpapers and notification alerts, email chat history, and more. The app supports group calls and international calls and messaging. All messages through the app are secured with end-to-end encryption, meaning only the sender and receiver have access to them.
WhatsApp can be used with iPhone and Android phones. As an alternative to downloading the app on a device, users can access WhatsApp through the desktop app, WhatsApp Web, which requires no download and provides many of the same features as WhatsApp through the device's web browser.
In January 2018, the company launched WhatsApp Business. The app was created as an enterprise solution and business-to-customer messaging service. It has many of the same features and capabilities as the original WhatsApp, with the addition of verified business profiles, smart-messaging tools like quick replies, greeting messages and away messages, and messaging metrics.
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