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WhatsApp’s slow-paced innovation is leading it to dominance in the world’s biggest markets

By Quartz

WhatsApp has always been pretty basic. Its simple interface and ‘lite’ weight have helped ensure the messaging app’s ascendancy in emerging markets across Africa, SouthRead full story

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  • Hafeez Shaik
    Hafeez ShaikPrincipal Product Manager at Yahoo

    In my last visit to India, I saw so many small businesses pointing to communicate to them over WhatsApp. My mom knows using it and she is a part of family groups forwarding interesting videos :). The one big problem I see with WhatsApp is addressing “fake news”.

  • Ernie Sander
    Ernie SanderDirector of Platform Community at Quartz

    Interesting that WhatsApp may just leapfrog digital advertising altogether because other revenue-generating services (payments, remittances, etc.) have greater potential in emerging markets.

    With WhatsApp growing so rapidly (now bigger than both Messenger and Instagram), I will also be curious to see how WA and Facebook ensure that they create separate identities, particularly in light of the current backlash against FB. One example of the potential for messiness: European regulators last year

    Interesting that WhatsApp may just leapfrog digital advertising altogether because other revenue-generating services (payments, remittances, etc.) have greater potential in emerging markets.

    With WhatsApp growing so rapidly (now bigger than both Messenger and Instagram), I will also be curious to see how WA and Facebook ensure that they create separate identities, particularly in light of the current backlash against FB. One example of the potential for messiness: European regulators last year ordered WhatsApp to stop sharing data with its parent company.

  • Meanwhile, Instagram keeps adding features that make it feel more like Facebook

  • Mark  White
    Mark White Founder at White Label Media

    Interesting, although it saves potentially the best nugget for the last graph with little to no explanation or comments from any so-called experts. I’d like to know more about WhatsApp skipping the ad stage, if indeed it’s true. Also, could it not produce different rev strategies for different parts of the globe?

  • Peter Repucci
    Peter RepucciAssociate at Riverstone Holdings

    Brings up an interesting question, especially in light of FB's pivot toward less commercial content - is the future of social media still in advertising? Or is there more opportunity in commerce (like WeChat in China)? Probably somewhere in the middle, but a fun new dimension.

  • Many Americans have never heard of WhatsApp, but it’s dominant all over the world. Why? Because it just works. No frills, just a great service.

  • Peter Green
    Peter GreenFounder at FoodMakers.NYC

    Part of WhatsApp's attractiveness is that it uses mobile phone numbers to communicate over the internet. In countries where most people have only a smartphone and no landline or desktop computer, its integration is seamless. If they can get the integration with e-commerce and maybe even e-health down, its a surefire success

  • Takuma Kakehi
    Takuma KakehiProduct Manager at Quartz

    Yes, keep it simple!! I love Messenger Lite over Facebook Messenger. Users come up with innovative ways to use chat; apps don't have to clutter with useless stuffs.

  • Sopiea Mitchell
    Sopiea MitchellCEO at 3toZEN

    I love WhatsApp! I think it’s one of the best technology thing that has happened for small businesses, and it’s very reliable. Not only has it made it easy for us to communicate with our developers in Israel, it has allowed us to explore emerging markets in Latin America since it is hugely popular there, as well. It is also the app of choice for my clients when they are traveling.

    If they are to include payment/remittance services, they will have a great winning combo!

  • Adaora Udoji
    Adaora Udoji

    Important article because globally WhatsApp is a quiet powerhouse. Yet take here is too simplistic. It’s not either or, not binary in that emerging markets may not be ready for advertising but of course they buy things so it will come. The fact that they are looking to other revenue options is good, since biz models need new ideas. The scary issue here is the data and what they do with it?

  • James Bidwell
    James BidwellExecutive Chair at Springwise

    Keep it simple.

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