We know that folks on the ‘Mobile Frontier’ are not accessing the web as we know it. The availability of electricity, communication towers and the likelihood that the mobile devices are actually a shared resource, create an entirely different context of use. In applied research we’ve done in remote India, we found the primary mode of communication was the missed call. This context is entirely different to what current internet communication is predicated on.
Whatsapp has effectively side-stepped the SMS and Voice features to provide a meaningful service. In hindsight we’ll know if Whatsapp’s valuation was right, but Facebook clearly has the means to ensure they will continue their reach to the rest of the world.
From the Wall Street JournalFacebook to Pay $19 Billion for WhatsApp
Messaging Startup to Operate Independently, Retain Brand. The 55-employee company, which acts as a kind of replacement for text messaging, has seen its use more than double in the past nine months to 450 million monthly users. That makes its service more popular than Twitter.