WhatsApp, one of the popular messaging applications on smartphones, has reached 30 million users in India. Telecom companies have started to feel the heat as the flow of short messages (SMS) has come down significantly.
WhatsApp has several advantages, like free person-to-person messaging, group messaging to any number of users and free voice and video messaging, which has made telecom companies look for alternative methods to take on the mobile application.
S. Karthik, programmer with a top IT company, said that he was considering removing the SMS option from his smartphone as he had been using WhatsApp ever since it was launched in India a couple of years ago.
“The biggest menace with SMS is spam, which is unwanted, annoying, but that is not the case with WhatsApp as only people whom you know or those who know you can send you a message, using the application,” he pointed out Elaborating on how WhatsApp helps her keep in touch with her Indian friends, Divya Natarajan, an M.S. student at the University of Nottingham, said in a message through the mobile application from the United Kingdom that recently the mobile application developer had even started to provide free voice and video option with which anyone could call their friends to leave a message and they too could do the same.
“I send video messages to my parents using WhatsApp as it gives them reassurance of my safety in a distant country,” she said.
Some private cell phone operators too have joined hands with WhatsApp developers to offer unlimited WhatsApp usage to its subscribers for less than `20. “We have seen a decrease of about 20 per cent in SMS traffic in the recent past after our subscribers started to use mobile application like WhatsApp,” the spokesperson for a telecom company said.