The reason why WhatsApp is called WhatsApp is really very, very silly


Last Updated on 2016-05-19 , 1:50 pm

We’ll just tell you straight away. It is called WhatsApp because it sounds like What’s Up?

Yeah, it’s that simple.

If you’re not satisfied, then here’s the story.

Imagine a world without WhatsApp. Not difficult since you probably lived before it was created. Remember how inconvenient it was to get in contact with someone? You either use SMS, which could be costly, or you call them, which is even more costly and the other person might not be available too.

And this is even worst for someone with a family 20’000km away.

Jan Koum, one of the cofounders of WhatsApp, was born in Ukraine and immigrated to the US in 1992. He grew up in the US and studied programming. When visiting South America, he realized that between time zones and personal schedules, long-distance calling could be challenging, and Koum wanted an easy way to tell whether his friends and family could chat – Were they working? Or working out? What were they up to? Essentially, he wanted to see their statuses instead of having to ask, “What’s Up?” The name itself came straightforwardly, as the about page will tell you playfully: “What does the name mean you ask? Well, WhatsApp is a pun on What’s Up in case you didn’t get it yet. :)”

And hence, it was called WhatsApp.

Starting as an app that simply allowed the user to know the availability of someone else, soon it became apparent that other functions were needed to compliment this function. In-app messaging was added. Along with other minor additions. Soon, the app became hugely popular and today we get this app that is extremely user friendly, reliable, have cute emoji, and most importantly, allow us to connect with our friends who were halfway around the world.

And the guidelines that made WhatsApp so awesome?  It looms over Koum’s desk in the form of a note that reads, matter-of-factly, “No ads! No games! No gimmicks!”

Top Image: 2kawaiiiness /