Messaging app WhatsApp had been rather successful after it launched, but the fact that Facebook later acquired the startup made it experience an unprecedented success.
Now, users can access all of their messages and conversations on a desktop application that is now launching. They still need to have used the service from a smartphone device first.
The new desktop app is available for consumers running Mac OS 10.9 and above or Windows 8 or above; it can also be synced with the WhatsApp account used on a mobile device.
According to the announcement blog post, the new application can support keyboard shortcuts and keyboard shortcuts because it natively runs on the desktop.
For a while, WhatsApp’s mobile app was attached to a $1-a-year subscription fee, but that was quickly removed as it proved to prevent growth in usership.
Dumping the fee created a revenue shortfall, which caused some users to worry about WhatsApp introducing third-party ads. However, the company quickly promised that would not be the case.
A month after that promise was made, WhatsApp made some surprising announcements: it was dropping support for a number of older mobile phone models, such as the BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia Symbian S6, and Nokia S40.
At the same time, WhatsApp also ceased support for older Android versions, the 2.1 and 2.2, as well as Windows Phone 7.1.
At the moment of the announcement, the company said that “While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future.”
It hasn’t been easy for WhatsApp to keep their services coming in some countries across the world. Two of the largest telecom regulators in South Africa – MTN and Vodacom – wanted stricter regulation for over the top services.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s telcos were not very happy either with WhatsApp’s offering of voice call functionality, which prompted them to ban WhatsApp outside the law.
Starting May, Brazil placed another ban on WhatsApp, but it was overturned three days later, as Facebook – the parent company – failed to provide police access to users’ data that could be used in a criminal investigation.
According to the latest report from February 1, WhatsApp boasts 1 billion monthly active users.
Image Source: Beta News