Why WhatsApp video Will Totally Slay Skype And FaceTime.
WhatsApp video went into beta testing just over a month ago, but we all knew it would only be a matter of time before the Facebook-owned instant messaging app added that feature anyway.
That’s why, to some of us, it did not come as a surprise when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement, on Wednesday, that WhatsApp video is now available with an immediate global rollout.
Speaking in terms of covering the basics, video was the only feature that WhatsApp needed to complete a roulette of already impressive offerings.
Back in April 2016, it added voice calling, which brought with it clashes with telcos and governments in several countries but hit one billion monthly active users (MAUs) shortly after.
Right out the gate, WhatsApp has been a hit and once Facebook acquired it for $19 billion after five years in existence, the app cemented its place as the instant messaging app to go against.
Enter Microsoft’s Skype and Apple’s FaceTime.
Microsoft acquired then eight-year-old Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011. It would be the second time the video call and messaging company would be acquired (earlier in 2005, eBay had acquired Skype for $3.9 billion) and its core offerings had similar features with Microsoft’s Live Messenger (which also had way more users at the time) — it made no sense.
In its 13-year life, over 560 million people have used Skype, 74 million of which use the app regularly while another 8 million pay for its VoIP features. Prior to Slack, Skype was the king of corporate messaging outside of emails and lord of consumer video messaging. As far as video messaging is considered, Skype — and its affiliation with Microsoft — is a big deal.
But it cannot compete with WhatsApp on almost any metric. In fact the only major feature Skype has over WhatsApp is video conferencing. WhatsApp has over a billion users (making it the most used instant messaging app in the world) and offers most of the same features Skype also offers.
It has Facebook, one of the most valuable companies in the world, behind it and a very mobile forward (and everyone knows the future is mobile) user base. It is also easier to use and just an overall better product whereas, in comparison, Skype feels dated, clunky and tired.
Apple launched FaceTime along with the iPhone 4 on June 7, 2010. It is hard to say exactly how many people use the app, because Apple is not that generous with its numbers, but FaceTime is available across all Apple and Mac devices so it’s bound to be a lot.
It works with your contacts and only supports one-to-one video and audio calling but if social media is anything to go by (at least from what is popular ON social media), FaceTime is definitely a public favourite.
Still, FaceTime is not available on Android while WhatsApp is available on almost every OS there is — mobile, web or PC. WhatsApp supports group chats, conference calls, document sharing and a basket of other features which FaceTime doesn’t. Without throwing in the numbers, it is obvious that WhatsApp adding video is a solid winning move over its competitors.
In Nigeria, WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app by a long shot and video is only going to make it even more popular. According to a Jana Mobile Poll from 2014, 45% of Nigeria’s mobile internet users utilize WhatsApp.
The numbers don’t lie. If I were to put my money on whether WhatsApp, Skype, or FaceTime will rule the video messaging space, I’d put my money on WhatsApp. What do you think?