By Monty Miller
In the last 10 years alone, the social media boom has changed the way that we communicate as a global society. Social media has allowed us as humans to connect over several different platforms with people all over the world with similar passions, interests, and personalities.
Although there are some social media platforms that are universally extremely successful and popular among many age groups such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; depending on where you are on the globe, some are more prominent than others.
One platform of communication that has been brought to my attention recently is the messaging app called, WhatsApp. WhatsApp was founded in 2009 and is currently the world’s most popular text and voice application. WhatsApp is free of charge and also allows you to place free international phone calls, group messages as well as video calls.
What I find interesting is the fact that this platform is used so much internationally, but why has it not gained popularity in the United States?
There are essentially two main reasons
- American phone carriers are MUCH cheaper
Since the beginning of the internet, cell phones and SMS messaging, American telecommunications have been much more developed than other countries. Around the year 2010, Americans accessed something revolutionary. Unlimited 3G Network. At this time in other underdeveloped countries, for example, India, residents were being charged unrealistic and unaffordable SMS and “minutes” packages. This is where you pay a certain amount of money for a certain amount of phone minutes or text messages. This was a terrible value and the phone carriers were essentially ripping people off. For many countries where you had to pay for each individual text, the idea of unlimited and instantaneous communication was not only intriguing but mind-blowing. In America on the other hand, affordable payment plans we’re being created in which the average citizen could have access to unlimited talk, text, and data for a good price. This caused social media to flourish at a much faster level in the states, as more and more people were online.
- Apple and iMessage
The reality is that the number of Americans with Apple phones and products is much higher than the rest of the world. Apple products have the feature of Imessage which allows for free instantaneous messaging with internet access and of course, cell service. As long as the other user has an Apple Iphone, product or essentially an active Apple ID, they are able to utilize Imessage for free and with no call, text or video call limit. Because of the fact that the majority of people that you probably know own an apple product, this makes communication fairly easy and cost-free; leaving no need for a separate app or platform. The reality is that in other parts of the globe, Android phones are much more prominent. This means that most people have a variety of phones, phone carriers and plans. Due to this, people are searching for one single platform in which they are able to easily reach anybody on any device for free; which happens to be Whatsapp.
Whether or not you or someone you know uses Whatsapp, it’s important to use whatever platform you enjoy most and fits your need as a consumer:)
You can find me on Twitter at @montyymiller! Let’s connect on LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/feed/
Also, check out my other blog posts:)