Techin5 Developer Interview – WhatsApp

Techin5 Developer Interview – WhatsApp

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to a new segment we’re introducing to Techin5 for the first time – The ‘Techin5 Developer Interview‘! From today onwards we’ll be having interviews with popular app and game developers from the mobile and PC (and possibly console) industry where we’ll be asking questions to do with the development of their app or game. Of course, we don’t know how often we’ll be having an interview for you guys, so the best way to find out would be to keep checking Techin5 regularly to get all the exclusive news and interviews you can.

To start the first ever ‘Techin5 Developer Interview’, we start off with one of the most popular cross-platform mobile messaging apps on the market today – WhatsApp. Anyone who owns a smartphones has undoubtedly either heard of or used WhatsApp before, such is the popularity of the App. From WhatsApp, CEO Jan Koum has graciously taken the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.

Techin5 Developer Interview – WhatsApp

Please tell us, what is your role at Whatsapp?

I am CEO of WhatsApp.

People have always wondered, how did the ‘WhatsApp’ name come to be?

‘WhatsApp’ is a pun on a common American greeting “What’s Up”

WhatsApp is one of the most popular cross-platform mobile messaging apps in the world. Why do you think Whatsapp has been so popular with smartphone users?

We put a lot of effort into the stability of the service, customer support and building awesome user interfaces.

WhatsApp currently exists on 4 platforms (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia). How difficult was it to get cross-platform chat enabled between the different platforms?

We are actually on six different platforms: Windows Phone and both Nokia Symbian AND Nokia S40.

Every platform had a set of challenges that need to be addressed and solved, but fortunately we have an extremely talented team of engineers.

Our mistake. Speaking of Windows Phone, now that WhatsApp has finally hit the Windows Phone how often can we expect updates for the Windows Phone Platform (since it is relatively behind the other OS in features)?

We want to give something our users who have Windows Phone so they are not left disconnected from their friends who are using WhatsApp on other platforms.

We are committed very strongly to the Windows Phone and will be adding features in the near future.

Currently, Whatsapp requires users to have a smartphone, and the app. Will WhatsApp ever make its way to dumbphones in the future? (i.e.: non smartphones)

No, we care a lot about user experience and we do not feel we can provide a user experience we would be happy with if it isn’t on a smartphone.

What can current (and future) WhatsApp users expect from the app in the future?

We plan to continue adding features, and improving the quality of service. Also since our business model is not based on advertising, we also do not collect or re-sell any personal data that advertising business models require.

Thank you for your time, do you have any final words about WhatsApp?

Yes: “please tell your friends to get WhatsApp”

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Jan!

Special Thanks to Julia for her assistance


Founder and Chief Editor of Techin5, currently based in Melbourne Australia. Has always had a deep appreciation of Technology and how it helps people, which led to the birth of Techin5. You can follow me on Twitter at @jubbing and on Instagram