Yesterday, I got put up on something, that I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t know about.
It’s a messaging app called WhatsApp.
What’s a WhatsApp, you ask?
Well, its a cross-platform mobile messaging app, which lets you send and receive text messages for free.
It’s available for iPhones, Androids, Windows, Blackberry and Nokia devices.
According to their website, WhatsApp works on the same internet data plan that you currently use for your email and web browsing.
Unlike text messaging supplied by your carrier, which is subject to some per message rate or bundled with your call or data plan, WhatsApp messages don’t cost a thing.
You’ll never be charged for going over your allotted text message limits, because there are none.
The dude that put me on to WhatsApp was going on and on about how great it was.
You can send text messages to your contacts without having to remember their phone number.
You can text internationally.
You can send pictures and videos.
All things you can do right now without WhatsApp.
So what’s the big friggin deal?
Not to be completely ignorant, I downloaded WhatsApp so that he would stop bugging me.
Mind you, it’s not a free app.
It costs $.99.
I was willing to part with my money to shut him up.
Got the app on my phone.
Need a verification code.
Plug in my cellphone number and wait.
A few seconds later, a text message with the code arrives.
Plug it in and then…
Up pops this dialogue box telling me that WhatsApp added all my friends who already use the app.
Umm…why is this list like 200+ people?
Here I am holding myself out as the purveyor of all things tech.
And at least 200 people in my circle are up on some shit that I’m not!
A cursory glance through my ‘Favorites’ list tells me that it’s primarily my international peeps.
One of the selling points of the WhatsApp disciple was the fact that you could text internationally.
That makes sense.
If you’re constantly traveling or have family and friends in different countries, WhatsApp helps you keep in touch without breaking the bank.
I feel considerably less inadequate.
International cats know how to save a buck, ya dig?
Playing with WhatsApp the past few days has me hooked.
Its got a bunch of interesting little features.
For example, each message you send is accompanied by a small green check mark.
Dude told me that a check mark meant that your message was delivered.
And a second check means that it’s been read.
Reading up on the WhatsApp FAQs page revealed the fallacy of his statement.
One check refers to the fact that your text has been delivered to their servers.
Two checks means that it’s been delivered to the phone of the person you’re chatting with.
But not necessarily that your message has been read.
Misinformation aside, the app does have its finer points.
WhatsApp lets you create group chats, customize your profile and status message, and save and/or email your chats sessions.
I can’t say that I’m a WhatsApp aficionado quite yet, but I’m getting comfortable.
With the exception of my boy who put me on, I haven’t really chatted with anyone else through the app though.
So I can’t say that it’s better than standard texting in any material sense.
But if you’re within the sound of my blog and you’ve got the app, I’d love to get your feedback.
Do you WhatsApp?