Home → Tech →

Is WhatsApp Social Media? [+ a Few WhatsApp Facts]

Written by, Alex Bosnjak

Updated May, 14, 2022

WhatsApp is currently used by over 2 billion people worldwide to communicate via text messages and media. While in Australia in 2021, according to CivicWebMedia, there were 12 million WhatsApp users.

Many people find themselves debating the question, is WhatsApp social media? In this post, I’ll answer this question by going through why I consider it a social media platform. But, before that, I’ll provide some facts about WhatsApp.

What Is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is one of the most used social media apps in Australia. 

  • The platform was developed by Brian Acton and Jan Koum as a messaging app.
  • It was released in August 2009 on the App Store and in 2010 on the Google Play Store. 
  • In February 2013, it reached 200 million active users.
  • In 2014, Facebook paid $19 billion for WhatsApp (its largest acquisition to date). 

Many WhatsApp users use it for private discussions via messaging, voice, and video calls and sharing photographs, videos, documents, and user locations. Aside from private conversations, users use it for group chats.

Users can use their smartphones or PC to access the software. 

On WhatsApp, each user has a personalised profile with a profile photo and a status. It allows users to make and receive messages or calls via the internet, which is free to use (via WiFi) and great for international calling.

Why Is WhatsApp Considered Social Media?

Many factors need to be considered when it comes to answering this question:

Calls and Messages

These are core WhatsApp functions. WhatsApp debuted voice and video calling in 2015, which allowed users to make calls to others (even if they were in another country) without using up their cell plan minutes

There’s a group chat option that allows up to 256 individuals to be added to a group, which simplifies sending text messages and sharing media with more than one person. It’s good to know that you can remove messages you sent by mistake. 

I consider WhatsApp a social media platform because of its messaging/calling functions and the ability to exchange material. In addition, some businesses have a business profile with their business number and use it for customer support, just like on any other social media app.

Profiles

On WhatsApp, just like on other social networking apps, customising your profile image is vital to allow others to see how you look in person, resulting in more genuine discussions. 

In settings, you can set that everybody (with your number) can see your photo and status, just your contacts or nobody. So, if you’re chatting with someone who doesn’t have a profile photo, you can appear anonymous.

Sending Files

You can use WhatsApp for sending clips, photographs, GIFs, PDF files, and other documents to other people. In addition, you can easily share WhatsApp files on other social media platforms, email, and SMS.

Status 

Status updates are a type of expression that‘s common on social media. For example, you can update your status to “in a meeting” or “battery is low” so folks know you’re not ignoring them.

Sharing Stories 

The usage of apps in Australia, especially WhatsApp, is steadily growing. The reason for that could be new features such as story sharing, reactions to messages, and other innovations.

To create a story, go to your WhatsApp status > Add to my status > Camera > Take a photo/video to add a tale. Alternatively, you can update your status using an existing photo/video from your camera roll or a GIF.

Users can share vanishing photographs and videos on their accounts, similar to Instagram and Snapchat stories. After 24 hours, the photos/videos you upload on your status will vanish. Overall, WhatsApp stories allow you to share events from your day with your friends and family.

Group Messages

You can send messages to numerous users at once using group chats. Any communications sent to the group will be visible and can be responded to by group members. 

Conclusion 

If you’re still wondering is WhatsApp social media or not, here’s another explanation — WhatsApp is a social media platform because you can chat in different groups and share stories, statuses, and profile pictures. Also, some businesses and companies use WhatsApp for customer support, which is a great new way of getting in touch with customers.

Compared to other social networking platforms, WhatsApp is superior at sharing material, and it doesn’t show in-app commercials.