What is WhatsApp? A guide to navigating the free internet-based communication platform



a close up of a map: From video calls to document sharing, WhatsApp offers many ways to communicate worldwide. Samantha Lee/Business Insider


© Samantha Lee/Business Insider
From video calls to document sharing, WhatsApp offers many ways to communicate worldwide. Samantha Lee/Business Insider

  • WhatsApp is a free, multiplatform messaging app that lets you make video and voice calls, send text messages, and more — all with just a Wi-Fi connection. 
  • With over 2 billion active users, WhatsApp is especially popular among friends and family who live in different countries and want to stay in touch. 
  • WhatsApp’s global popularity is due in large part to its accessibility, cross-platform functionality, and simple, straightforward features.
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WhatsApp might be a little-known messaging app in the US, but in many parts of the globe, it’s an essential part of everyday life. The Facebook-owned app is easily one of the most popular messaging services in the world.

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To understand WhatsApp’s popularity, you need to understand it was

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