Case Study: How WhatsApp Became the Best Messaging App on Android

by Bharat Arora · Updated on August 28, 2021

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Do you want to know how WhatsApp became the best messaging app on android?

Well, you are not alone in this. Many business owners and developers are thinking about the same. But only a few progress from thinking to developing.

To understand this, you need to be aware of WhatsApp’s role, history, marketing strategy, and the app’s user flow.

In this blog, we’ve described every point. But before digging deep into the minor details, let’s look at the bigger picture to understand if it’s worth investing money in messaging app development.

Before developing the application

Let’s dive in deep and understand what a messaging app is

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What is WhatsApp Messenger?

Let’s begin with the basics.

WhatsApp: what is it? Why do we need it excitingly?

WhatsApp is a mobile application that is helping people in exchanging short texts online.

And it’s not just the most profitable project, and it’s a typical image of the American Dream come right.

It is the legend of an immigrant from a low-income family who became a billionaire and granted humankind a new helpful service.

No surprise, we want to learn how to develop an application like WhatsApp!

The nature of the app is displayed in its name.

It offers us to reach our friends or families to find out how they are feeling.

WhatsApp is very popular outside the United States and strongly competes with Asian messengers.

What’s more, the app is in high demand in the emerging markets of Brazil, Turkey, and Mexico.

Since its launch in January 2009, WhatsApp has grown into the industry leader.

It is available on almost all mobile operating systems.

If you want to understand how to build an instant messaging or chatting app like WhatsApp, you need to study your opponent seriously.

Why Does It Attract Users?

The following essential features provide its reputation in the world messenger market:

  • Registration by contact number
  • Real-time events
  • Sharing images and files
  • Recording of voice messages
  • Voice calls

WhatsApp: Role and History

WhatsApp was developed in January 2009. This instant chatting phone app was quick to take the world by thunder.

Its popularity started more and more developers to try their hand at making related applications.

WeChat, Viber, Telegram, Discord, and Kakao Talk are just a few of the copycat messaging applications available in the market today.

In February 2014, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in what is to date Facebook’s biggest asset.

Estimations say that its user base has surpassed 1.56 billion, quickly becoming the most used messaging app worldwide.

So, if you want to understand how to build a chat application like WhatsApp too?

Keep reading, especially if you’re going to learn how to make a chat application for Android devices.

Discover How Chat Apps Like WhatsApp Achieve Their Glory

Discover How Chat Applications like WhatsApp Achieve Their Glory

It all began in 2009 when Jan Koum and Brian Acton quit their cushy jobs at Yahoo to develop their messaging app.

Nobody could’ve guessed that their messenger would quickly become the fastest-growing application ever.

In February 2020, WhatsApp passed 2 billion active users, each sending 35+ messages a day.

In late March, its usage increased by 42%.

What’s even more important is that its creators achieved this without spending any money on promoting the app.

So what makes WhatsApp so popular?

  1. It was the first of its type.
  2. The bulk of messengers and VoIP services like Skype were desktop-based. WhatsApp was the first company that chose the mobile-first program.
  3. It was an affordable option for texting services.
  4. Unlike Skype, which intended to cut the cost of international calls, WhatsApp targeted SMS (which was quite pricey at the time). The messenger became very famous by charging only $0.99 a year before becoming utterly free in January 2016.
  5. It clarified user login.
  6. A complex login procedure was one of the most irritating parts of using Skype. WhatsApp was one of the first messaging apps that permitted users to register with a phone number and import their contacts with a single click.
  7. It has gained power through word-of-mouth marketing.
  8. Alternatively to advertising, WhatsApp creators relied on word of mouth: positive reviews and recommendations created plenty of new users. Over 50% of users install a particular messenger to be nearer to their friends who already use the application.
  9. It is a multi-platform application.
  10. Despite beginning life as an iPhone app, WhatsApp instantly captured other platforms. It became usable on Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry 10, Blackberry, Nokia s40, Mac, and PC. It supported the app take the leading position in nations like India, Malaysia, and South Africa, where iPhones were not popular.
  11. It supports a users-first approach.
  12. At the time, most messaging applications made money through ads. Instead of going for easy money, WhatsApp chooses to provide a better experience. And people preferred the app that didn’t spam them with irritating ads.
  13. Constant developments.
  14. WhatsApp started as an easy texting application. You can now share images and GIFs, make video and audio calls, set up group chats, and even post a Status, just like in Instagram or Snapchat Stories.

WhatsApp Marketing Strategy

It is fascinating to find out what methods the application used to achieve such fantastic achievement! What is the secret?

Let’s analyze WhatsApp’s things to see if we can adopt some of its ideas and tactics to build a WhatsApp clone of our own.

1. The Correct Idea at The Correct Time

When Jan Koum brings up the idea of the service of the sort, the constant online Internet audience numbered billions of users.

In such circumstances, the task to embrace an audience of several hundred million turned out to be an attainable goal.

So the growth of the number of mobile phones connected to the Network immensely helped the plans of WhatsApp’s owners.

Taking the help of the existing infrastructure, the company fully tapped into its resources and developed chat applications offering real-time interaction with the best UX.

2. Suitable Transformation of Strategy

Not everyone knows that WhatsApp wasn’t always into the messaging apps.

Initially, Jan Koum made it an iPhone app whose primary job was to show the status of customers in the contact list of people.

The need to build such a “status service” became clear to Jan Koum after one event, that happened in his life.

He was in the gym when his fierce boss from Yahoo! company called to discover why he wasn’t at the office.

And this was a moment when Jan recognized the usefulness of having a unique program with statuses showing the level of contact availability.

Soon, Apple had launched a push notification system, and Koum benefited from the discovery by integrating it into WhatsApp.

Customers liked the feature so much that they began sending notifications to each other. Koum was delighted to find out he had managed to create a messenger app though he didn’t mean to create one.

Reflecting on the general mood of users, Koum had released WhatsApp 2.0, which had a lot more instant chat app features. Thanks to this foresight, the number of users had reached 250 thousand people at a fast clip.

3. The Most Desirable Alternative to SMS and MMS Messages

There is no suspicion that WhatsApp’s growth has changed because using the app is much more affordable than sending MMS and SMS.

Since WhatsApp relied on 3G and 2G technologies, users could neglect the constant conditions of mobile operators and the high price of all the services.

Besides, WhatsApp offered advanced features, which mobile operators did not have: group chats, the capability to share your location or send audio and video files.

Without any doubt, the extensive functionality made such an instant messaging app more engaging in users’ eyes.

4. Confidentiality

As you know, working with customer’s data is always a huge burden, and this is what the WhatsApp group had taken very sincerely in the process of building an instant chatting app.

WhatsApp doesn’t collect your private info, such as gender, name, age, and address.

People do registration using a phone number, which eliminates the need to remember logins and passwords.

And there is one more benefit that messages are deleted forever from WhatsApp servers after being delivered.

All these factors, undoubtedly, also added to WhatsApp’s success.

5. No Ads

Do you know what this is all about? Of course, about advertising!

To create a chatting app like WhatsApp, you must know that your strong competitor has given users maximum comfort in their communication process.

Everyone hates advertising, but we all believe the outcomes or results that advertising has.

That’s why it’s fun to get at one’s disposal an instant messenger, which meets the need for communication and doesn’t irritate us with advertisements.

WhatsApp creators anticipated such a response. While being interviewed by Fast Companies, Koum reveals that he considers smartphones to be personal devices, unacceptable for advertisement purposes.

He says that when you receive a message from a loved one, you want to answer quickly, not being distracted by advertising.

6. Reliable Functionality

As we’ve already described, WhatsApp is not only running without placing ads; the company itself doesn’t pay money either on advertising or on bringing users.

Instead, the service founders focused on creating a valuable product.

Being intent on improving their mobile application, the creators have figured out how to build an instant chatting app of the highest level and the best quality.

Of course, we, users, appreciate these efforts by joining the ranks of its supporters.

7. Cross-Platform Scripting

Multi-platform support is another critical point of the WhatsApp marketing strategy.

Kum and Acton understood: the more customers, the better.

Therefore, they chose to create a messenger application, including not just smartphone users.

So they needed to make their app cross-platform, available to an extensive range of mobile devices, including the old ones.

8. Comfort and Ease of Use

There is no doubt that the WhatsApp app has a user-friendly interface. And the presence of such a factor doesn’t diminish its worth.

Therefore, a well-thought-out and uniform interface should be taken into the record by everyone who wants to build a WhatsApp clone a.

9. Word of Mouth

All of these factors have created WhatsApp a valuable and helpful service.

And then the word-of-mouth impact did the trick: every user who acknowledged the advantages of the excellent application wanted to share his opinions with friends.

It caused a viral effect, and it’s still the chief growth engine for WhatsApp.

10. Network Effect

Progressively, the WhatsApp user base touched the limits when the network effect triggers, which led to an improvement in the WhatsApp value.

It is usually the case for large social networks, such as Instagram and Facebook.

Agree; if a person downloads WhatsApp and finds out that 30 or 40 people from the list of his contacts have already been using the very same messenger, he’s unlikely to delete it.

Moreover, there is a chance of him giving invitations to his friends as possible new users.

So keep a network effect in mind if you want to create a chat application like WhatsApp.

Uses and Work Flow of WhatsApp

What is the use of WhatsApp, and how does it work? These are the following questions on the list of essential points, explaining how to create a messaging app like WhatsApp.

Assume you want to begin using WhatsApp. What will be the course of your actions?

  • Download and install WhatsApp
  • Give the application access to your contacts.
  1. Having accepted the terms & conditions of service: Enter your mobile number in the designated field and wait for the OTP.
  2. Then, enter your verification code: Then you’ll be sent to the profile page of the instant chatting app.
  3. Enter your name and upload the profile photo: It’ll help your contacts know you without any difficulty.
  • If you’ve already installed WhatsApp, it will offer you the opportunity to restore the messaging history.

As you can see, WhatsApp tries to clarify the registration process as much as possible, and it makes the user’s interaction with the app more reliable.

Bear it in mind while thinking of creating an instant chatting app.

After the easy registration process, the user is ready to start talking. It’s pretty straightforward:

  • Click on the button to send a new message: On the iPhone, it’s located in the top right-hand corner and resembles a pencil and a notepad. On Android, you’ll find it in the bottom right-hand corner. The button looks like a message icon. Tap on the button to generate a new Messaging App. After that:
  • Click on the “New group” option to use various contacts to organize group communication.
  • Then tap on the person’s name you need in the contacts to start communicating with him personally.
  • Like all the best instant chatting apps: The program allows you to send attachments, such as:
  • I just took a picture
  • A photo or video file from the smartphone Gallery;
  • A document
  • A map with your location;
  • The contacts info of the user from the list of your contacts.
  • Additional features (you should think about creating them if you want to build a WhatsApp clone):
  • Voice messages: you can make an audio recording and send it to a friend;
  • Phone or video calls.

What Can You Use to Build Your User Flow?

  • The most straightforward registration system;
  • The most advanced functionality, especially about chatting features in the app
  • Safety of the top-level

We’ll address all these problems in more particular when explaining how to make an application like WhatsApp Messaging App.

But first, let’s pay attention to WhatsApp’s opponents because they are your competitors also.

How To Create A WhatsApp Clone Application In Easy Steps

Step 1: Prepare the project’s MVP features list

Build the list of the essential messaging project features to create an application’s Minimum Viable Product, i.e., the product’s first version.

Step 2: Choose an outsourcing company

Discover the development team that will meet your cost requirements, time, and quality.

Step 3: Launch the discovery phase

During the project development phase, developers create functional and non-functional specifications for your business project, project technical documentation, recommend its architecture, write user stories, prioritize functionality and design a clickable model.

Step 4: Initiate the development phase

Developers maintain the project’s tech documentation as a reserve for developing the project’s minimum viable product (MVP). The design team creates drawable screens for your business app using a clickable prototype’s design as a reference.

Build a WhatsApp Clone App for your Business: Conclusion

Messaging apps are now gaining force. WhatsApp is the most famous and downloaded chatting app that includes over 2.2 billion active monthly users, followed by WeChat and Facebook Messenger.

To build your WhatsApp clone project, make sure you’re following the steps we listed down below:

  • Collection of features
  • Choosing the best developers
  • Beginning the project discovery stage
  • Initiate the development stage.

While developers will complete the functionality and the design of your app, don’t waste time.

You should gather knowledge about how you will raise funds for further developments for a messaging clone application and examine marketing strategies to use to attract customers to your project.

If you are searching for the top development team to answer your questions about your business purpose, you can rely on us. Contact our business development team to get a free consultation.



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Bharat Arora

I'm Bharat Arora, the CEO and Co-founder of Protocloud Technologies, an IT Consulting Company. I have a strong interest in the latest trends and technologies emerging across various domains. As an entrepreneur in the IT sector, it's my responsibility to equip my audience with insights into the latest market trends.

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