Facebook to buy mobile chat app WhatsApp?

If reports are to be believed, Facebook is looking to buy multi-platform instant messaging application WhatsApp in a bid to improve its mobile services.

Citing sources close to the matter, TechCrunchreports the social networking giant has shown keen interest in acquiring WhatsApp. The site, however, could not provide more information about the possible price range or the talks are in which stage right now. Facebook and WhatsApp are yet to comment on the reports.

Buying WhatsApp would make a lot of sense for Facebook, which has of late looked to tap its mobile services to up revenues. WhatsApp, launched in 2009, announced in October last year that it had more than 100 millioni daily users across the world, sending and receiving 1 billion messages per day. These impressive figures might have prompted Facebook to bring in such features to its social network. It’s notable WhatsApp has users base across multiple mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone.

Facebook to buy mobile chat app WhatsApp?

“Just how much is 1 billion messages? That is 41,666,667 messages an hour, 694,444 messages a minute, and 11,574 messages a second,” WhatsApp boasted in a blog post.  “Unlike Facebook, Whatsapp is a paid app. And obviously, having a paid, ad-free service is an expansion of Facebook’s business model beyond advertising. We’ve already seen Facebook launch another service that diversifies it — Gifts — and the positive impact that has had with investors,” says the report.

Right now it’s not clear exactly what Facebook would do with WhatsApp if it bought. But it is believed that the move would help deeper integration of the IM with the social networking site.

Reports of Facebook-WhatsApp deal come days after the messenger app drew harsh criticism from security and mobile researchers over the alleged security risks based on its authentication process. According to CNET, various bloggers dubbed the process a “security nightmare”, alleging the app leaked data collected off the device when it’s being relayed to services.

Recently, WhatsApp suffered a glitch that showed “error:uknown” as contact status. According to reports, the glitch had affected thousands of users worldwide. The bug was followed by a hoax message urging people who use the app to forward a message to all their contacts or face having their accounts deleted. Read more about the WhatsApp glitch here.

20 Years Of Texting: The Rise And Fall Of LOL !

It has saved lives and ruined marriages, created a whole new dialect and made billions in profits for phone companies. But as the humble text message celebrates its 20th birthday, some wonder how much longer it will survive in a world of smartphones and all-you-can-eat data.

The number of SMS – short message service – messages being sent has rocketed year after year but there are signs it has peaked in a number of countries, including Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, Hong Kong and Australia. A new generation of users who might once have used texts now use data services such as WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for free.

Texting

“There’s a lot of these services out there – I’ve counted 25 which have a total of 2.5bn reported accounts, though many of those will be duplicates,” said Benedict Evans, telecoms analyst at Enders Analysis. “There are probably 10 which have more than 100 million users – and BBM isn’t among them; that’s only got 60 million.”

The first text message was sent on 3 December 1992, when the 22-year-old British engineer Neil Papworth used his computer to wish a “Merry Christmas” to Richard Jarvis, of Vodafone, on his Orbitel 901 mobile phone. Papworth didn’t get a reply because there was no way to send a text from a phone in those days. That had to wait for Nokia’s first mobile phone in 1993.

The first text messages were free and could only be sent between people on the same network, but in 1994 Vodafone – then one of only two mobile networks in the UK – launched a share price alert system. The arrival in 1995 of the Tegic (aka T9) system, which created “predictive” texting based on the letters you had typed, meant texting could take off.

Commercial services soon followed, and though they started life as a free service – because operators hadn’t figured out how to charge for them – it was quickly realised there was money to be made from texting as the number rose dramatically. By February 2001 the UK was sending one billion texts a month, which at the standard 10p-a-text charge meant the business was raking in about £100m a month.

The amount of data in a text message is tiny, at just 128 bytes. Charged at the same price per byte, a 650MB music CD would cost more than £60,000.

In the same year texting became key to people’s lives – literally, for 14 British tourists stranded in the Lombok Strait off Bali who were saved after one sent a message to her boyfriend in England, and for a climber who was rescued with the help of a text from a mountain rescue team.

“Text language” emerged quickly because of the 160-character constraint of the keypad – and because to begin with it was time-consuming to enter words on a numerical keypad. Abbreviations such as “l8r”, “gr8” and “b4” soon had befuddled adults complaining that kids had lost the ability to spell correctly.

By 2003 exam markers had grown concerned about text language being used in answers; a 13-year-old girl wrote an essay in text shorthand, which said in part: “My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :- kids FTF. ILNY, it’s a gr8 plc.” (Or in longhand: “My summer holidays were a complete waste of time. Before, we used to go to New York to see my brother, his girlfriend and their three (!) kids face to face. I love New York, it’s a great place.”)

Now, though, it’s texting rather than the English language that is under threat. The rise of smartphones and data services means the price of sending data has collapsed, and that has led to free services that can send data even when you can’t get a phone signal to send a text.

In January the Finnish mobile network Sonera reported that the number of texts sent on Christmas Eve 2011 was 8.5m, down from 10.9m the previous year. In Hong Kong, Christmas messaging dropped by 14%.

But that doesn’t mean messaging will go away, or that mobile operators are suddenly going to go bust. Texting has brought in more than $500bn and is still forecast to coin them $1tn over the next seven years as people use it for mobile banking in Africa and India, for charitable giving and for political donations.

Evans said operators would adjust their pricing models even as texting declined. “They’re going to start charging more money for more data. Transmitting 500 megabytes of data costs them more than transmitting 500 minutes of voice. So they’ll readjust their prices.”

But equally, he said, the idea of the short message between devices was here to stay. “Twitter was imagined as a text message service, that’s why each tweet has to be so short. The mechanism by which it’s delivered will change, but people will still find it convenient to send short messages to each other.”

Timeline

1992 First text message sent

1995 T9 system invented, making texting quicker

2001 Text volume passes 1bn a month in the UK

2001 Text messaging is used to help organise protests that topple President Joseph Estrada in the Philippines

2002 A service called Text2TV from a Devon-based company says it will let you send texts to your TV and reply via your remote. It doesn’t take off

2003 David Beckham sends a series of steamy text messages to his personal assistant Rebecca Loos; they are later published, and nearly end his marriage

2004 Tony Blair takes part in a live text chat

2005 The Eurovision song contest includes SMS votes, creating the biggest ever “televoting”

2008 Nielsen reports that the average US mobile user sends and receives more texts per month than phone calls – 357 v 204

2009 WhatsApp, a free text-like service that lets people send messages for free over data connections, is founded

2011 Number of texts sent at Christmas falls year-on-year in Finland, Hong Kong, Spain and the Netherlands

2012 Ofcom reports that text messages are the most-used method for daily communication with family and friends – 58% of UK adults do so at least once a day

2012 Rebekah Brooks reveals that David Cameron sent her texts signed “LOL” because he thought it meant “lots of love”; its usual meaning is “laughing out loud”

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

WHATS APP WARNS USERS FROM HOAX MESSAGES !!!!

Whats app is the worlds leading online chat application.Whats app is avaible on multiple platforms making it a widely used application.However recently whats app faced a glitch.WhatsApp has reportedly fixed the glitch that sprung up earlier this week that showed “error:uknown” as contact status. According to reports, the glitch had affected thousands of users worldwide.

Whats app cleverly used whats app to address the issue using many social platforms like twitter.Here’s what was said.

WhatsApp acknowledged the glitch on Twitter and said it was working on resolving soon-ish. Here’s WhatApp’s message on Twitter:

“WhatgsApp status functionality is currently not available .We are working on resolving it 
soon-ish..”. 

This bug as usual was followed by a hoax message urging people who use the app to forward a message to all their contacts or face having their accounts deleted.

The viral message is from the CEO of WhatsApp, one ‘Jim Balsamic’, and reads, “We have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list.

Here’s the complete message :

” Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Whatsapp): we have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill “

WhatsApp has assures its users on circulated messages calling them hoax. The site quotes a Whatsapp blog as saying
We have been getting a lot of emails and questions from you about a chain letter message circulating in our network. Please understand that this is a hoax and there is no truth to it.
While we are flattered that we made it Hoax Slayer we would rather work on cool new features instead of debunking silly stories like these.”

This isn’t the first time such messages have been viral on whats app.Whats app has to regularly check for such messages and then declare them as hoax messages.It is a request , whats app will never make you pay for what they offer.If so , you will be notified via an official message from whats app.So all in all the error
 Status Unavailable   is a bug that whats app is facing and there’s no need to worry.As said in their blog this error should be completely removed world wide by the end of this weak.One last advide : do not pay heads to such viral messages.Live free and make others carefree

WhatsApp hit by ‘Error: Status Unavailable’ bug

It seems that the issue has now been resolved but if you still not able to view the statuses, either refresh your status on WhatsApp or try rebooting your handset.

If you have been using the popular multi-platform real time messaging app WhatsApp, we know how much you might have been frustrated by the downtimes that the app has faced in the past couple of months.

WhatsApp-Status-Unavailable-Error

And today, there is another error that Whatsapp users are facing. The status of WhatsApp users has disappeared and they are greeted with a ‘Error: Status Unavailable’ message.
While only a limited number of users might actually look at the status of their friends and family (at least I don’t) this kinds of minor error could be irritating. The team at WhatsApp is aware of the issue and is already working on resolving it.