Sunday, 8 January 2017

How does WhatsApp work?

WhatsApp was founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton who had previously spent 20 years combined at Yahoo. It started as an alternative to SMS service.

Updates since its's launch?
WhatsApp now lets users send photos, videos, and audio messages, as well as share their location using their phone’s built-in GPS. It also supports group chats, something SMS messages were never able to do, and lets users broadcast important messages to huge lists of contacts – though it’s up to them to define what qualifies as important.

Userbase
The majority of WhatsApp users live in Europe, India, and Latin America.

How does it work?
WhatsApp uses a customized version of the open standard Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP)WhatsApp relies on data to send messages, like iMessage or BBM.
WhatsApp follows a 'store and forward' mechanism for exchanging messages between two users. When a user sends a message, it first travels to the WhatsApp server where it is stored. Then the server repeatedly requests the receiver acknowledge receipt of the message. As soon as the message is acknowledged, the server drops the message; it is no longer available in database of server. WhatsApp server keeps the message only for 30 days in its database when it is not delivered (when the receiver is not active on WhatsApp for 30 days)

WhatsApp Security?
WhatsApp claims it's security is by default. It's end-to-end encryption is available when you and the people you message use the latest versions of our app. Many messaging apps only encrypt messages between you and them, but WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you're communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. This is because your messages are secured with a lock, and only the recipient and you have the special key needed to unlock and read them. For added protection, every message you send has its own unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically: no need to turn on settings or set up special secret chats to secure your messages.

Privacy Issue
But WhatsApp was investigated in Canada and the Netherlands for privacy issues pertaining to the ability to register a person's phone without their permission and intercept messages.The app also uploads all of a user's contacts and requires them to individually block users with whom they do not want contact. Additionally, even the numbers of those who do not use WhatsApp are stored in the app in perpetuity.

Acquisition by Facebook
WhatsApp joined Facebook in 2014, but as per their website continues to operate as a separate app with a laser focus on building a messaging service that works fast and reliably anywhere in the world.

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