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WhatsApp Inc. was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum (also the current CEO), both veterans of Yahoo!, and is based in Santa Clara, California.
WhatsApp uses a customized version of the open standard Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). Upon installation, it creates a user account using one’s phone number as username (Jabber ID: [phone number]@s.whatsapp.net). WhatsApp software automatically compares all the phone numbers from the device’s address book with its central database of WhatsApp users to automatically add contacts to the user’s WhatsApp contact list.
Previously the Android and S40 versions used an MD5-hashed, reversed-version of the phone’s IMEI as password, while the iOS version used the phone’s Wi-Fi MAC address instead of IMEI. A recent update now generates a random password on the server side. Multimedia messages are sent by uploading the image, audio or video to be sent to a HTTP server and then sending a link to the content along with its Base64 encoded thumbnail (if applicable).
Until August 2012, messages were sent in unencrypted plain-text format, making the system vulnerable to session hijacking. As of August 15, 2012, the WhatsApp support staff claim messages are encrypted in the “latest version” of the WhatsApp software for iOS and Android (not including BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Symbian), without specifying the implemented cryptographic method.
WhatsApp Messenger is a smartphone messenger available for Android and other smartphones. WhatsApp uses your 3G or WiFi (when available) to message with friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages. First year FREE! ($0.99 USD/year after) WHY USE WHATSAPP:
★ NO HIDDEN COST: Once you and your friends download the application, you can use it to chat as much as you want. Send a million messages a day to your friends for free! WhatsApp uses your Internet connection: 3G/EDGE or Wi-Fi when available.
★ MULTIMEDIA: Send Video, Images, and Voice notes to your friends and contacts.
★ GROUP CHAT: Enjoy group conversations with your contacts.
★ NO INTERNATIONAL CHARGES: Just like there is no added cost to send an international email, there is no cost to send WhatsApp messages internationally. Chat with your friends all over the world as long as they have WhatsApp Messenger installed and avoid those pesky international SMS costs.
★ SAY NO TO PINS AND USERNAMES: Why even bother having to remember yet another PIN or username? WhatsApp works with your phone number, just like SMS would, and integrates flawlessly with your existing phone address book.
★ NO NEED TO LOG IN/OUT: No more confusion about getting logged off from another computer or device. With push notifications WhatsApp is ALWAYS ON and ALWAYS CONNECTED.
★ NO NEED TO ADD BUDDIES: Your Address Book is used to automatically connect you with your contacts. Your contacts who already have WhatsApp Messenger will be automatically displayed.
★ OFFLINE MESSAGES: Even if you miss your push notifications or turn off your phone, WhatsApp will save your messages offline until you retrieve them during the next application use.
★ AND MUCH MORE: Share location, Exchange contacts, Custom wallpaper, Custom notification sounds, Landscape mode, Precise message time stamps, Email chat history, Broadcast messages and MMS to many contacts at once and much much more!
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