Tag Archives: whatsapp

whatsapp is now free for all

19 Jan

london 10.42am, 3.2C sunny tuesday 2016

before, it was $1 a year , after the first year, if u have the whatsapp in your smartphone. but it has been announced that it will be free to all. and no adverts either. how will it pay for itself?  the answer, it will make money from businesses contacting individuals. how is that,i wonder? i dont quite see how that is done.

 facebook bought it for £13.2billion in 2014. it found that the imposition of a $1 fee(small as it is) harmed its growth in developing countries, as it seems ‘many there dont have debit or credit cards so are afraid that after the first year’s free usage , they will lose contact with friends or family’. (or so that was how the whatsapp blog says it, but i think the reality  means that after the first year free, they all discontinued the app , perhaps because they dont have credit or debit cards, who knows! and so cannot continue even if they want to;  and facebook loses them).

it seems to me that facebook is willing to forego the revenue from whatsapp, rather than have people leave as it wont be able to mine them for data information of their usage of the web.

and maybe it can persuade businesses to pay to get access to their customers or anyone contacting them for queries or whatever. though what company want to get involved? it means they have to hire a person or persons solely to answer text queries? a waste of time really. unless it all boils down to they buy the phone numbers and so can text those people with adverts pretending to be friendly messages. 

but whatever the reason, the end user now have a free whatsapp to play with . and if they bring in voice as well as text, it will threaten the mobile companies with their call plan and , it will threaten skype too, which is used for international calls (skype is owned by yahoo i think).

i have a call plan with talktalk mobile, it is free to me, for a year. and i find it difficult to use up the 250text i allowed free each month. but i daresay i shall get into the habit of texting people so i have a feeling that come the end of this free offer, even i will be tempted to get a smartphone and download whatsapp. 


welcome to the year 2015

1 Jan


by now everyone, or practically everyone in the world would have ushered in the new year and be in 2015. but i look around me in my flat and see things that do not really show any difference to living in the late 50s, or 70s.

my cooker , fridge, microwave, oven, even my landline phone, still have the same design as when they first appeared in the 70s and my table lamps , furniture,can be from the 50s. someone entering my flat would be forgiven if they mistake it to be from the 50s or 70s. 

as it is the only thing that looks futuristic is my flat tv screen which is unlike the heavy fat backside ones, one of which i still have in my bedroom, disconnected and neglected now. haha.

oh i forgot my chromebook would look futuristic too. that would be the two things anyone coming from the 50s or 70s assuming they could time travel to my flat, would notice.

i am reminded by a comment made here by garfieldblog that if i bought a smartphone i would truly be in the future. she said i will be able to get whatsapp and wechat on it and so can use it to send text and make real time chats. (hang on a minute, couldn’t we do that allready with an ordinary phone?!! haha.) but its not free!!

i think once smartphones come down in price like £21, the future for me would have really arrived because then i will  get one.

Added.5.1.15 just read this article nokia smartphone for £19. available in europe early spring2015. i wonder if we will really have it here in uk. it might be stopped by the other rivals.

i fear also that means the decline of the laptop or chromebook. it is easy to imagine a smartphone with a bigger screen than 5″, (hang on, is that what a tablet is?)using voice recognition to type words , or have it connected wirelessly to a keyboard which may not even be solid, but a image in the air or on any flat surface. (now that would be futuristic, if ever it happens!!) then i can visualise being able to chat and text anyone all over the world at no cost. i presume wifi will be available everywhere and free. though i suppose we will be bombarded with advertising, but we will tolerate it and learn to ignore it. 

i was reading this blog entry and on the sidebar were these words in afrikaan, this one make me laugh. 

baie dankie – thanks a lot (pronounced “buy a donkey”)

what is whatsapp?

20 Feb


update 24.2.14 looks like whatsapp is going to add voice. now that would be a killer app. 

update 23.2.14 i have been puzzled about smart phones, because there are so many different brands. they are all v expensive, that is the one thing they all have in common. anyway i read today in this article that mozilla is introducing a cheap smartphone for $25 for the developing countries. in that article it says ‘feature’ phones are used in developing countries as a cheaper alternative to smart phones. i have never heard of ‘feature’ phones. but this cheap smart phone might be one for me, if it comes to europe. I have noticed that these cheaper versions are not sold in europe, so that we have to go to a developing country to buy it. just  like i have to go to malaysia to buy the cheap nokia that i am using now. cannot find that cheap nokia here in london. 

added. 23.2.14 this link in quartz says zuckerberg of facebook is trying to make data cheaper. getting a cheap smart phone is half the story. getting data is expensive.  this link shows nokia asha 230 new smartphone for £37 . it also contains a video about the phone, but stay on and let it run and u can see them reporting on a lot of other gadgets in the show. 

update 22.2.14 when i read all this about messages, i thought will that make all the mobile phone companies obsolete? i dont think so. none of these apps take over from phone calls. and people will still like talking to each other instead of having to type the messages. txt messaging is a cumbersome way to communicate if u want immediate response. so for now the phone companies can still make money by selling call plans that will include free txt and broadband downloads. 

you could argue that there is skype and voip, (whatever that is, even though i know it stands for voice over IP) IP i presume stands of internet provider. but they are not easy to use or the sound is not clear and plagued by fades out and interference. this happened the last time i used it, but that was years ago, and maybe it has improved. Once that gets improved, it will be the end of phone companies as we know it.  mobile companies will not be able to make money and going bankrupt. when u can talk to people via skype and the internet using VOIP? and it is free via free wifi.

But G3 or G4 will still be needed to transmit the mobile signals, and so i predict that facebook may well buy a mobile company that has a G3 or G4 license. (Added. i think this one wont be necessary. with the spread of wifi available for free everywhere, it should be easy to get onto the internet without a mobile connection, at least in cities.) 

I have been getting emails  from them relaying some users sending me text messages and it has been happening for some time. i dont know how they got my email address. i have always thought they were a mobile phone service, but it seems people can send messages to computers too. As usual, i dont read the messages and  just blocked the message. But now i read that facebook had bought them for $19billion. well that certainly will make everyone sit up and take notice. it did me. Well, next time i get a message from them, i shall take more notice and read it. 

added. i had another look at the messages sent to my email and realise it is not from whatsapp. it is a scam email. so i was right to just block and delete them without opening it. i suppose i would be opening them if i had whatsapp on my mobile. not the first time i am glad i dont subscribe or use these apps or whatever, (paypal is another that i get lots of scam messages from but i have never used paypal so i know not to open them). 

What is whatsapp exactly? one of the links to the article about the purchase by facebook gave a link to their blog. it says it is a app that allows people to send txt messages to each other without having to pay for it. and u just pay $1 a year for the app. no wonder people get it. haha. it says they never send any messages themselves , have no advertising, and is purely a medium to relay other peoples messages. I wonder if it works the other way, that i can send messages via it from my laptop to mobile phones. AT the moment, i can send emails and those people who have mobile phones on broadband can access their emails. but i cannot send my messge directly to their mobiles as a text message. 

I have a feeling i am not the target customer. i use my mobile only for when I am going to a place to meet people. otherwise i switch it off. i got a simcard pay-as-you-go, and the cost for txt is as much as a voice call, so it is really much easier to just call someone if I am late or they are late.

Added. this link shows that whatsapp could be used in non-smart phones too. but the phone must be able to access the internet which i thought is what smart phone means. so what are these non smart phones that can access the internet? i guess i shall have to wait maybe 5 or so years later when everyone is on it by then.