NEW DELHI: What started as a humble chat app and has now caused traditional mobile services and apps to nearly face extinction. The rise of WhatsApp has even threatened telecom operators with shrinking Average Revenue Per Users (ARPU). After the acquisition of WhatsApp by the social media giant, Facebook, the chat platform has expanded greatly to compete with almost all modes smartphone communication with it becoming the one-stop hub. Not to forget WhatsApp itself is the biggest competitor to Facebook’s native Messenger app.
While regulatory issues have prevented WhatsApp from going all out with its payments service in India, it has already started to be a big concern for mobile payments companies including Paytm, Mobikwik and even Google Tez.
On the technology front, WhatsApp has come down heavily on traditional mobile telephony and here are seven things that the have become casuality to rise in WhatsApp’s popularity in the country.
* SMS: WhatsApp has definitely killed SMSes. It seems like SMS has become a secondary mode of communication when there is no mobile internet connection. For most smartphone users, SMSes are no longer important other than for OTPs and other service messages. .
* MMS: Multimedia messaging never really took off in India, and with WhatsApp offering a range of multimedia chat option, MMS is definitely dead. As far as feature phone users are concerned, MMS makes little sense to them due to hardware constraints.
* BBM: There was a time that the exclusivity of BlackBerry Messenger made people to BlackBerry phones. With WhatsApp, BBM is definitely facing extinction.
* Yahoo Messenger: The 90s kids will remember the good old Yahoo Messenger. While its downfall could be due various other factors including management, WhatsApp surely played a role in sealing its fate.
* Viber: Viber is another app that was quite popular in India for making calls till WhatsApp popularity has made people forget Viber in a matter of few years.
* WeChat: Yes, WeChat still continues to dominate China but in India it has its footprints slowly fading and very few are hooked to WeChat.
* Video-calling apps and platforms: WhatsApp is slowly taking over video calling as well with more people opting for WhatsApp Video Calls. While Skype still continues to hold fort, other video-calling apps including Google Duo appear to hardly get a chance for revival.
* Voice calls (reduced): Voice calls have surely not got killed with WhatsApp’s popularity. However, there number has surely fallen down. People now comparitively make less voice calls. Additionally, WhatsApp call has also hurt telcos especially for international roaming.