ICYMI: Looks Like WhatsApp Will Start Charging Soon (For Real) & More
It’s been a busy week for WhatsApp: It turned 8; one cofounder was at Delhi IIT and managed a chat with the IT minster; it announced a Snapchat-ty feature, and even made it to the High Court of Delhi.
Photo Credit : Facebook.com/, L-R: Brian Acton, cofounder of WhatsApp and Neeraj Arora, head of business at WhatsApp,
Brian Acton’s one day tour to India
The trip lasted all of one day and was a busy one. Brian Acton, cofounder of WhatsApp, met with the IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss how India’s most popular app can help realize India’s economic digital dreams.
With 200 million monthly active users, India is WhatsApp’s largest market.
PTI reports that WhatsApp will start commercial messaging this year for businesses after it had stopped the 1 dollar annual subscription fee for users worldwide last year.
The monetizing plans do not include charging for third party ads. PTI further reports the company is further testing out plans where users can use WhatsApp to communicate with corporate enterprises like banks and airlines.
Brian along with Neeraj Arora, the global head of business at WhatsApp, visited IIT Delhi to interact and learn from students. The discussion focused on ways WhatsApp can contribute to India as it is invested in building a service with high utility for millions of Indians. Neeraj is alumni of Delhi-IIT and was instrumental in negotiating the deal of Facebook acquiring WhatsApp.
WhatsApp’s Snapchat-wannabe moment
Jan Koum, CEO and cofounder of WhatsApp said this on the company’s official blog:
“It was just eight years ago, in February 2009, when we started writing the first lines of code for what would eventually become WhatsApp.
Every year, when Brian and I would plan projects to work on, we always talked about improving and evolving this original "text only" status feature.
We are excited to announce that, coinciding with WhatsApp's 8th birthday on February 24, we are reinventing the status feature.”
The status updates are end-to-end encrypted and could be photo, video or GIF and only available for 24 hours.
“Should WhatsApp calls be regulated?”
PTI reported on 22nd February, 2017, that the High Court of Delhi is seeking a response from the Centre on a plea calling for regulation of call services over the internet provided by those such as 'Facebook' and 'WhatsApp'.
The bench consisting of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal has issued notice to the ministries concerned and directed that affidavits be filed within six weeks with regard to the issue raised in the petition. The matter will be taken up again on the 3rd of May.
The plea came from one V D Moorthy, seeking regulation of such ‘Facebook and Whatsapp's’ Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or Internet Telephony services.
PTI says, “His plea has urged the court to direct the authorities concerned to bring the two social media platforms and other similar applications in India under the regulatory framework just like the telecom service providers and internet service providers.”
The petitioner was further alleged as saying that "unregulated operations of the Facebook and WhatsApp are a threat to national security and a loss to the public exchequer".
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