What's Whatsapp and why should you care?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Montague Miller & CO


This app has been around for a few years but has remained under the radar for most people in the U.S. that are over 20 years old. It has over 450 million users outside the U.S. and growing each day. It is a free messaging service that works across platforms, without advertisements BuzzFeed . This app has extra value if you have a number of clients/have a large relocation business, from outside the U.S., because it is free and popular.

Whatsapp has come to everyone's attention because of Facebook buying it last week for $19 billion. This has repercussions for investors and users. The reason I think it is important to understand this app is the way texting spreads. From my experience, the use of texting and texting apps is pushed from the younger users to their parents and relatives. All of my peers have surprised me with their texting habits. They text all the time when we contact each other. They tell me they began texting to keep in touch with their children and grandchildren. Now, it is their default method to communicate even with other adults. Since younger people are using Whatsapp instead of FaceBook, their parents will have to download it to communicate with them. For those of you who want to drill down to the bleeding edge details of this app check out this link from Digital Trends .

The media is predicting that this app will be adopted quickly and as Real Estate agents, it is important to familiarize our selves with it. As an investor in the stock market, I found this Bloomberg report interesting as well Bloomberg .

I hope this post has been helpful in a number of ways. Thank you for reading it.

Comments (12)

Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

I started using Whatsapp while working with a client that lived in Germany, he used it to stay in touch with business partners in the US. It is great to avoid the HUGE phone bill for texting international, but I find Skype is still the #1 international communication service.

Feb 22, 2014 11:04 PM
Jaclyn Erwin
Jackson Erwin Realty, Inc. - Charlotte, NC


You know, I've been wondering that this app was all about. Especially, as you mentioned, it has been in the media lately with FaceBook deciding to purchase it. My main question I would ask is: Why would I use this app as opposed to regular texting, as most of my clients use regular texting anyway? Just something to wonder considering the amount FaceBook has in this app. Thanks for sharing! 

Feb 22, 2014 11:59 PM
Frankie Carl
Montague Miller & CO - Charlottesville, VA

There are 2 reasons an agent would use this. First, it is much cheaper than the texting services that carriers like ATT and Verison charge. It is $1.00 per year. If you do not have unlimited service, this is great. Second, people will be migrating to this app because of their children and grandchildren will be using it instead of FB. I don't think it takes the place of Skype. It will be interesting to see what happens and how it affects our profession :-)

Feb 23, 2014 07:55 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Frankie, well written post. You make an excellent case.

Feb 23, 2014 11:19 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

I have been unable to locate the app to download it. Can you insert a link?

Feb 23, 2014 09:12 PM
Frankie Carl
To Cheryl Ritchie...........no problem http://www.whatsapp.com/ You can also get it from the iPhone App Store...... When FB bought this company, the Whatsapp site crashed for awhile because of so many downloads...........it will be interesting to how popular this app becomes. According to Business Insider, the Chinese version of this - WeChat users can pay for things using payments.
Feb 23, 2014 09:42 PM
Jeff Fisher
PureWest Real Estate - Whitefish, MT

As someone over 20 and an avid user of Whatsapp, I wasn't surprised at all about this acquisition by FB. I have many friends in other countries and we use it regularly. 

Feb 23, 2014 10:01 PM
Bahman Davani, CM at Texas Five Star Realty, Plano, TX (214) 457-7055
Texas Five Star Realty, Plano Texas - Frisco, TX
Homes for Sale in Plano, Frisco, Prosper, Allen TX

450 million users with $1 per user per year means $450 million dollars per year. Are you sure FB bought it for only $19 Million dollars? and not  perhaps $19 Billion?

Feb 24, 2014 04:41 AM
Frankie Carl
Montague Miller & CO - Charlottesville, VA

To Davani....well, at least someone passed the reading test.... ;-)

Seriously,  u r absolutely correct, my brain/hand malfunction - thanks!

Feb 25, 2014 01:46 PM
Kela Caspillo
Kauai Dreams Realty - Kapaa, HI
Kela Caspillo

Thanks Frankie I have heard of Whatsapp and was wondering what it is. Ok there are a few similar things out there like Whatsapp if I am getting the right idea. Its a messaging service that isnt a txt message. I think a more popular form of whatsapp might be Kik

Feb 26, 2014 05:26 AM
Frankie Carl
Montague Miller & CO - Charlottesville, VA

Thanks for your feedback. You are right, there are many apps like this out there

Google wanted Whatsapp (465+ million users after FB bought it) and FB allegedly thought that it was competition for them, especially with younger texters. They out manuvered Google and did the deal. This link for The Malay Mail talks about Kik (100 million users) and other messaging apps. The majority of Whatsapp users are outside the use and FB is looking to expand so buying it worked for them. Also, peoples kids and grand kids use it so adults will adopt the app to communicate with their younger family members. Finally, this type of texting service saves money if people do not have unlimited texting plans.

It should be interesting to see how this industry evolves :-)


Feb 26, 2014 06:20 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I think, I had it years ago, but rarely used and eventually deleted. 

Sep 23, 2016 05:20 AM