How did WhatsApp overpower other chatting apps? A research on what reasons made WhatsApp the number 1 chatting app in the past 5 years.
In this research, 15 random chat apps users who are from different ages, genders, countries, and educational status filled a survey about their usage and experience of chatting apps. The analysis of the survey showed that 85.7 percent of chatting apps users are addicted to them as they use them for more than three hours per day. most of them prefer Whatsapp for different reasons. 57.1 percent of the users said that privacy is number one priority for them. They look for a chatting app by which they can remain anonymous and their personal information are safe. Another fifty percent of the users said that they prefer WhatsApp because it is easy to use. A friendy user interface make chatting simpler and easier. A chatting app is made to make peoples life easier so it must be, it self, simple. Only 42.9 percent of users care about the security of the chatting app they use. They look for a chatting app that had no vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to hack into their phones. Worth to mention that there is no 100 percent secure app or system so no matter how the system platform is protected and well built, still there is a way or another to hack into it. The last reason for choosing Whatsapp is that it is popular and most people use it. 35.8 percent of users said that no matter how good it is, a messaging app is nothing without plenty of users. They want a chatting app in which they can find their friends and communicate with them.
Weare in a time in which chatting apps and social media became of the needs of ourdaily life. Whether they agree or not, people depend on chatting apps so muchon their life to the extent that they can not live without. They use them inall aspects of life eg. get in touch with their friends and relatives, todiscuss matters of business, and to explain a lesson to a classmate. Beside theinstant messaging, the group chats that people create with friends andcolleagues help them to share their ideas, information, point of views, andfeelings with each other. The trend ofinstant messaging apps lead to the establishment of many chatting apps until itturned into a business in which many counterparts challenge each other tocreate an application that can attract the majority of users by offering themthe features that they look for. One of these chatting applications isWhatsApp. It was established in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum with the slogan“Simple. Personal. Real time messaging.” The new app came with plenty offeatures like as the ability to make group chats, set broadcast contacts and sendunlimited images, video and audio messages. Beside being full of features, easyto use, and a pioneer in its category, it helped people to save money by usingit instead of the regular SMS messages (Short Message Service) so users do nothave to pay extra fees for sending messages. Moreover, it helped makecommunication over barriers much easier and cheaper than it ever been. All ofthese features, and others, made WhatsApp the number one chatting app for the past5 years.
Inthis study, I will investigate how did WhatsApp become the number one chattingapp in the world during the past 5 years, what people like on WhatsApp, andwhat circumstances lead to the failure of other chatting apps. I used a surveywhich is filled by 15 random people in different ages, genders, countries, and educationalstatus to see what do they like on chatting apps, WhatsApp specifically, what do they do not like, and what do theyexpect is the future of chatting applications. The survey is analyzed and itsresults and foundings are shown at the end of this research paper.
Many studies are done about chatting apps, social media, Whatsapp.
A study entitled “Smartphone application usage amongst students at a South African University”,done in the year 2012 by Walter U, Aadilah M, et.al assessed on the usage of smartphones and social media in between users in a South African University. The study showed that students remain online for 16 hours a day and spend about 5 hours per day on their smart phones interacting and communicating with other their friends, colleagues and relatives through social networking applications. This Application (WhatsApp) is highly addictive and can create a great impact on regular users, and apart from that it can leave a trace that becomes difficult to control and cure. Some of the most prominent technological innovations are smart phones, laptops and using the internet. They have greatly affected many aspects of our lives. Today the Internet continues to grow day by day at an incredible speed. About 32.7% of the world’s population has access to the internet. Howe, Yeboah J, Ewur G. (2014) The two researchers also said that the main purpose behind this application is to replace SMS with a crossplatform mobile messenger that works on an internet data plan. If you have unlimited text, it is still beneficial as it is a convenient way to avoid international fees that carriers may charge.
Mayer,Davis, and Schoorman, (1995) define trust in chatting and social media as “thewillingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party basedon the expectation that the other will perform a particular action important tothe trustor, irrespective of the ability to monitor or control that otherparty” (p. 712) Trust is also important for successful online interactions(Coppola, Hiltz, and Rotter, 2004, Jarvenpaa and Leidner, 1998, Meyerson, 1996,Piccoli and Ives, 2003).
Trustis also a central component of social exchange theory (Roloff, 1981).
“Millionsof people have joined social networking sites, adding profiles that revealpersonal information. The reputations of social networking sites has beendiminished by a number of incidents publicized by the news media” (Chiaramonteand Martinez, 2006, Hass, 2006, Mintz, 2005, Read, 2006), This raise thequestion whether ot not it is “possible to join a network of millions of peopleand be able to trust all of them.” Of course this does not look plgican. WWecan not trust strangers. Howver people still join networks and reveal theirvery personal information. what role does trust play in the use of socialnetworking sites?
Thisstudy is based on a survey in which the responders answer some questions aboutwhat attracts him or her to a chatting app, what features does he or she want,and what aspects does he keep in mined when he choose a chatting appeg.security, privacy, ease to use and popularity of the application. Thissurvey is published in a twitter page. 15 random people were engaged in it. Theyare from different ages, genders, countries, and educational status. Thevariety of the responders should help getting more accurate results andfoundings for the study. A copy of the survey is attached.
Research and survey results
The published survey got 15 responses fromwhich I derived these analysis and answer the question of the paper, how didwhatsapp overpower other chatting apps and be number one chatting applicationduring the recent five years?
Theresponses showed that 85.7% of users use different chatting apps morethan three hours per day which is considered as addiction. Only 14.3 useinstant messaging apps for only 1-3 hours per day. This is a regular usage. Andnobody from the responders use chatting apps less than an hour a day. Theseresults indicate that people are obviously in addiction with chatting apps nomatter what do they use them for.
Whenthe responders were asked about the chatting apps they use, the all putWhatsApp at the top of the list, twitter comes second and Black Berry third.The reasons they all chose WhatsApp is clarified in the following figure
57.1% of the responders said that privacy is number one priority. They want tobe anonymous and their personal information must be hidden to the eye’s ofstrangers. They ask for privacy options they can enable or disable by theirchoice. Since WhatsApp offer these options, it is their choice. However, childrenand even parents are rarely aware of the potential risks of informationdisclosure through mobile devices. Personal information, such as real-timelocations, photos, and calendar, can be easily leaked via using mobileapplications from mobile devices. (Chen Y et.al) They also claim that users’personal information has been aggressively collected by different parities frommobile devices.
50 percentof the responders said that they prefer WhatsApp because it is easy to use. Afriendy user interface make chatting simpler and easier. A chatting app is madeto make peoples life easier so it must be, it self, simple.
Securitycomes in rank 3 of the most important feature in a chatting application. 42.9%of people voted that whatsapp is secure enough to protect them againsthackers’ attacks. Worth to mention that whatsapp was not encrypted, and thoughsecure, until April 2016 (Whatsapp.com).
35.8% said that the popularity of chatting app is the fourth most importantfeature. No matter how good it is, a messaging app is nothing without plenty ofusers. Keep in mind that because of the different protocols of chatting apps itis not possible to send a message from a certain app to another. A message mustbe sent and received by the same app. So 35.8 percent of people
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Chattingapps and social media became parts of modern daily life. Nearly 85.7 percent ofpeople are addicted to use their phones and chat more than 4 hours a day.People tend to look for a chatting app that respect their privacy and give themthe choice to choose to what extent they are exposed to others. Security isalso another important feature people look for. Ease to use and the popularityof chatting apps can make difference on peoples choices. A simple and popularchatting app is always listed as a good choice to use since it will allow theuser to chat easily with a huge number of people.
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