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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Whatsapp, iMessage... Missed opportunity for Apple?

Whatsapp, iMessage... Missed opportunity for Apple?
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besson3c
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Feb 28, 2014, 09:30 PM
 
Whatsapp is basically just a cross-platform version of iMessage, right? Should Apple have made iMessage this way to begin with, or at least worked in this direction like they did with iTunes?
     
Laminar
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Feb 28, 2014, 09:38 PM
 
I'm curious to know why Whatsapp was initially adopted more than the plethora of other cross-platform messaging apps out there. Was it really better? Or did it just randomly gain some momentum, at which point it became the "most popular" and everyone else hopped on it?
( Last edited by Laminar; Mar 1, 2014 at 10:38 AM. )
     
mindwaves
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Mar 1, 2014, 12:04 AM
 
I'm curious of the marketshare for each of these messaging apps. iMessage needs a better image viewer where you can view all of the images from a person easily.
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starman
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Mar 1, 2014, 12:09 AM
 
WhatsApp was good for me back when not everyone was able to send/receive multimedia messages. Once that happened, I never went back to it.

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subego
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Mar 1, 2014, 12:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I'm curious to know what Whatsapp was initially adopted more than the plethora of other cross-platform messaging apps out there. Was it really better? Or did it just randomly gain some momentum, at which point it became the "most popular" and everyone else hopped on it?
My understanding is they were early. Pre-iMessage. I believe they even positioned themselves as a BBM alternative.
     
turtle777
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Mar 1, 2014, 12:38 AM
 
As far as I understand it, WhatsApp had two features that made it very popular worldwide:

a) tied to your cell phone number, no extra ID or login required
b) clients for non-smart phones

-t
     
besson3c  (op)
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Mar 1, 2014, 01:17 AM
 
What about international messaging via data plans, rather than paying outlandish prices per SMS message (AT&T charges 50 cents for SMS, $1.50 for MMS).
     
subego
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Mar 1, 2014, 02:04 AM
 
I don't understand the question.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Mar 1, 2014, 02:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I don't understand the question.
It was in response to turtle, citing another advantage.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 1, 2014, 06:06 AM
 
iTunes went cross-platform because that helped Apple sell hardware.

iMessage will remain Apple-only because that will help them sell hardware. They have 800 million iOS users now. There would have been no advantage to buying a "competing" service just to add a smaller number of cross-platform users.

Personally, WhatsApp pisses me off a bit because it's phone-only.
     
turtle777
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Mar 1, 2014, 12:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What about international messaging via data plans, rather than paying outlandish prices per SMS message (AT&T charges 50 cents for SMS, $1.50 for MMS).
Yes, that too, but that is not unique to WhatsApp.
A lot of "chat clients" allowed that, even before iMessage.

-t
     
subego
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Mar 1, 2014, 04:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
iTunes went cross-platform because that helped Apple sell hardware.

iMessage will remain Apple-only because that will help them sell hardware. They have 800 million iOS users now. There would have been no advantage to buying a "competing" service just to add a smaller number of cross-platform users.

Personally, WhatsApp pisses me off a bit because it's phone-only.
Sorry, PC Master Race.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 1, 2014, 04:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Sorry, PC Master Race.
What?
     
subego
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Mar 1, 2014, 04:20 PM
 
Never mind.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 1, 2014, 04:36 PM
 
I'm just trying to figure out whether I'm supposed to feel offended or not.
     
Laminar
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Mar 1, 2014, 04:38 PM
 
I liked it.
     
subego
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Mar 1, 2014, 04:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I'm just trying to figure out whether I'm supposed to feel offended or not.
When you're supposed to be offended, you'll know.
     
mduell
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Mar 2, 2014, 01:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I'm curious to know why Whatsapp was initially adopted more than the plethora of other cross-platform messaging apps out there. Was it really better? Or did it just randomly gain some momentum, at which point it became the "most popular" and everyone else hopped on it?
J2ME app availability for Symbian/Nokia. Their users heavily skew toward low SES/developing world compared to BBM or iM.

Apple doesn't want the most popular, they want the most profitable. Android can go nuts with marketshare, yet where are the Android exclusive or Android first apps?
     
Athens
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Mar 6, 2014, 05:27 AM
 
Would be nice if imessage was cross platform. A Windows Client, Android Client and BB Client. Could and would have acted as a gateway technology for adoption of Apple Hardware.
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Spheric Harlot
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Mar 6, 2014, 05:34 AM
 
How so? Is the fact that Microsoft bought Skype enticing you to purchase their hardware?
     
HamSandwich
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Mar 6, 2014, 11:12 AM
 
What a debate... What you are really wondering about is why anyone is paying so much money for a company that is so small, of which I know only one single app, and this app is rather simple. Hower, having so many users could mean some infrastructure at work here that needs to be managed. I don't know if I really understand WhatsApp, I thought it was nothing special, just skype for text messages, and some images in addition etc, and cross-platform. Everyone congratulated Zuckerland for the excellent idea, hmm.
     
Athens
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Mar 7, 2014, 01:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
How so? Is the fact that Microsoft bought Skype enticing you to purchase their hardware?
Not exactly sure what your logic is with this. But it is interesting you bring up Skype. Since Skype works on iPhone, Android, Linux, OS X, Windows and recently been integrated into Outlook.com it has become the defacto chat client with most of the people I know. One of the strong points for RIM with the adoption of Blackberry was the introduction of BBM to people. For some people BBM was the pure purpose of buying a Blackberry in the old days. Some one being introduced to iMessage through Windows or Android might explore the idea of a iPhone having used a piece of it already which is what I was inferring with my post. Microsoft didn't create Skype. Skype isnt a strong association with Microsoft either. Skype as a brand stands more on its own as its own brand then a poster for Microsoft. iMessage on the other hand clearly associates with Apple as BBM clearly associates with Blackberry. The debunked MSN Messenger brand is what associated with Microsoft but they killed that for Skype.
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Spheric Harlot
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Mar 7, 2014, 04:30 AM
 
Back when BBM was a reason to buy BlackBerry, this was because it was exclusive to BlackBerry devices.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Mar 7, 2014, 06:18 AM
 
Maybe Apple didn't want to get into the business of developing clients for Android, Windows, etc. yet didn't want to see its hypothetical open protocol associated with shitty clients.

Would WhatsApp been as successful if its protocol was closed?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 7, 2014, 06:45 AM
 
You don't mean "closed". You mean "single-platform". The protocol is proprietary AFAIK.

And WhatsApp succeeded over here because it was a virtually free alternative to expensive SMS and MMS packages, and everybody could have it on their phone.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Mar 7, 2014, 06:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
You don't mean "closed". You mean "single-platform". The protocol is proprietary AFAIK.
The Open WhatsApp project
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 7, 2014, 07:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Okay, so it can be reverse-engineered.

"Ultimate goal for the OpenWhatsapp project is to be officially recognized, approved and supported by WhatsApp."

That project supports the Blackberry 10 and the Nokia N9/940 (sporting 200,000 users yay), and...WebOS.

I fail to see how this "openness" is in any way relevant to the success of WhatsApp.

So, er, to answer your question:

Yes. Yes, WhatsApp would have been every bit as successful if its protocol had been "closed", because its "openness" (unofficial and unsupported) serves only to open up the service to the multitudes of users straggling on dead systems.
A million or two? Maybe? Out of four hundred?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Mar 7, 2014, 07:21 AM
 
You're right, I missed that quote about Open WhatsApp, I figured it was like what WebKit is to Safari.
     
   
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