Timeline of WhatsApp

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The following is a timeline of WhatsApp, a proprietary cross-platform, encrypted, instant messaging client for smartphones.[1]

Big picture

Time period Key developments at WhatsApp
2009–2014 WhatsApp begins, adds support for iOS and Android, and reaches the top 20 of all apps in Apple's U.S. App Store by early 2011. By 2012, it becomes the dominant messaging app in Europe and Brazil.[2] WhatsApp acquires both Series A and Series B funding from Sequoia Capital. WhatsApp reaches 200 million active users by February 2013, and 400 million active users by December 2013.[3]
2014–2016 WhatsApp is acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion, with only 55 employees. It continues to grow, reaching 600 million active users by January 2015 and over 1 billion active users by February 2016.[4]

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
2009 February 4 Company Jan Koum incorporates WhatsApp in California.[5]
2009 October Funding Brian Acton persuades five ex-Yahoo! friends to invest $250,000 in seed funding, and is granted co-founder status.[5]
2009 August Product WhatsApp 2.0 is released on the App Store for the iPhone.[6]
2009 December Product WhatsApp for the iPhone is updated to send photos.[5]
2010 August Product WhatsApp support for Android OS is added.[7]
2011 January 21 Competition WeChat, a messenger app, is founded.[8] It eventually becomes very popular in China.
2011 April Funding In Series A round, WhatsApp founders agree to take $7 million from Sequoia Capital on top of their $250,000 seed funding, after months of negotiation with Sequoia partner Jim Goetz.[5]
2011 May Competition SnapChat, a competing photo messaging app, is founded.[9]
2012 January 6 Security An unknown hacker publishes a website that makes it possible to change the status of an arbitrary WhatsApp user, as long as the phone number was known.[10][11]
2012 August Security The WhatsApp support staff announce that messages were encrypted in the "latest version" of the WhatsApp software for iOS and Android (but not BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Symbian), without specifying the cryptographic method.[12]
2013 February Userbase WhatsApp's user base swells to about 200 million active users and its staff to 50.[5]
2013 July Funding Sequoia invests another $50 million in Series B round, valuing WhatsApp at $1.5 billion.[13]
2013 July 16 Product WhatsApp goes free, with an annual subscription fee of $1 after the first year.[14][15]
2013 August Competition Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging service, launches.[16]
2013 August Product WhatsApp introduces voice messaging.[17]
2014 February 19 Company Facebook announces its acquisition of WhatsApp for US$19 billion, its largest acquisition to date.[18] Facebook pays $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook shares, and an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units granted to WhatsApp's founders.[19]
2014 March Security Someone discovers a vulnerability in WhatsApp encryption on the Android application that allows another app to access and read all of a user’s chat conversations within it.[20]
2014 November Product WhatsApp introduces a feature named Read Receipts, which alerts senders when their messages are read by recipients. Within a week, WhatsApp introduces an update allowing users to disable this feature so that message recipients do not send acknowledgements.[21]
2015 January 21 Product WhatsApp launches WhatsApp Web, a web client which can be used through a web browser by syncing with the mobile device's connection.[22]
2015 January 21 Product WhatsApp announces its policy on cracking down on 3rd-party clients, including WhatsApp+.[23] Users would not be able to use WhatsApp’s services at all until the third-party apps are uninstalled.[24]
2015 December Legal WhatsApp is briefly shut down in Brazil after it refuses to place wiretaps on certain WhatsApp accounts.[25] It is shut down in Brazil again on May 2016 and in July 2016.[26]
2016 January 18 Product Jan Koum announces that WhatsApp will no longer charge its users a $1 annual subscription fee.[27][28] There is still no clear plan for monetizing WhatsApp.[29]
2016 March Legal Diego Dzodan, a Facebook executive, is arrested by Brazilian federal police after Facebook fails to turn over information from his WhatsApp messaging account into a judge's request for a drug trafficking investigation.[30]
2016 March 2 Product WhatsApp introduces its document-sharing feature, initially allowing users to share PDF files with their contacts.[31]
2016 April 5 Product, Security WhatsApp and Open Whisper Systems announce that they finish adding end-to-end encryption [32] to "every form of communication" on WhatsApp, and that users could now verify each other's keys.[33][34][35]
2016 May 10 Product WhatsApp is introduced for both Windows and Mac operating systems.[36]
2016 August Privacy WhatsApp renounces a privacy vow and announces that it will start sharing phone numbers and analytics data of its users to Facebook.[37]
2016 September 20 Product WhatsApp announces new feature of tagging people in the group with '@' symbol, Type @ symbol and wait for a sec to pop-up the user names which are included in the group.[38]

References

  1. Metz, Cade (5 April 2016). "Forget Apple vs. the FBI: WhatsApp Just Switched on Encryption for a Billion People". Wired (magazine). Condé Nast. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  2. "The Reality Of The Global Messaging App Market: It's Really Freaking Fragmented". Techcrunch.com. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  3. Jan Koum (December 19, 2013). "400 Million Stories". WhatsApp Blog. WhatsApp. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  4. Statt, Nick (February 1, 2016). "WhatsApp has grown to 1 billion users". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved April 6, 2016. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Parmy Olsen (February 2, 2014). "Exclusive: The Rags-To-Riches Tale Of How Jan Koum Built WhatsApp Into Facebook's New $19 Billion Baby". Forbes. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  6. "WhatsApp 2.0 is submitted - WhatsApp Blog". Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  7. "Three-quarters of WhatsApp users are on Android, 22% on iOS (study)". Venturebeat.com. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  8. "5 years of WeChat". Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  9. "Snapchat". Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  10. Schellevis, Joost (January 12, 2012). "What's app status: van Anderen os nog steeds te wijzigen" (in Dutch). Tweakers. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  11. rvdm (January 12, 2012). "How What's app net works". Wire trip. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  12. "Are my messages secure?". WhatsApp (FAQ). Zendesk. August 15, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  13. "PrivCo". Privco.com. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  14. "The Granddaddy Of Messaging Apps, WhatsApp, Finally Goes For A Subscription Model on iOS". Techcrunch.com. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  15. "WhatsApp, the Internet Messenger, to Become Free". The New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  16. "Russia's Zuckerberg launches Telegram, a new instant messenger service". Reuters.com. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  17. "Voice Messaging Comes To Whatsapp". Techcrunch.com. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  18. "WhatsApp Was Valued At ~$1.5B In Final Round Before Sale". Techcrunch. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  19. "Facebook to Buy WhatsApp for $19 Billion". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  20. "Hole In WhatsApp For Android Lets Hackers Steal Your Conversations". Techcrunch.com. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  21. "Whatsapp now lets you disable Read notifications". November 15, 2014. 
  22. "WhatsApp Web". January 21, 2015. 
  23. "(Updated) WhatsApp begins crackdown on unlicensed 3rd party clients". Androidauthority.com. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  24. "WhatsApp Says It's Not "Permanently" Banning Users From Its Service, Just Blocking Third-Party Clients". Techcrunch.com. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  25. "Brazil Restores WhatsApp Service After Brief Blockade Over Wiretap Request". The New York Times. December 17, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  26. "WhatsApp Is Briefly Shut Down in Brazil for a Third Time". The New York Times. July 19, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  27. Ina Fried (January 18, 2016). "Facebook's Whatsapp is Now Free". Re Code. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  28. "Whatsapp to Drop Subscription Fee". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. January 18, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  29. "No Subscription Charges For WhatsApp: Does Facebook Have A Monetization Strategy In Place?". Forbes. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  30. "Brazil Arrests Facebook Executive in WhatsApp Data Access Case". The New York Times. March 1, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  31. "WhatsApp adds support for document sharing, but only PDFs at launch". TechCrunch. March 2, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  32. "Wassup WhatsApp? Is everything confidential?". Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  33. Metz, Cade (April 5, 2016). "Forget Apple vs. the FBI: WhatsApp Just Switched on Encryption for a Billion People". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  34. Lomas, Natasha (April 5, 2016). "WhatsApp completes end-to-end encryption rollout". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  35. "WhatsApp Introduces End-to-End Encryption". The New York Times. April 5, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  36. "Introducing WhatsApp's desktop app", WhatsApp Blog, 10 May 2016, retrieved 11 May 2016 
  37. "Relaxing Privacy Vow, WhatsApp Will Share Some Data With Facebook". The New York Times. August 25, 2016. Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  38. Brown, Aaron (2016-09-20). "WhatsApp's update makes it IMPOSSIBLE to ignore people in a busy group chat". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 

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