With over 800 million users worldwide, WhatsApp, a phenomenon in the market for applications called OTT – Over the Top, doesn’t even seem to have reached its peak. On the contrary, it shows that it still has a lot of breath to grow. Not bad for an app released in 2009, just iOS version.
Purchased by Mark Zuckerberg in early 2014 for $ 16 billion, WhatsApp now faces the biggest challenge in its history: confronting the rage of mobile companies – and their political and financial power – that they have lost revenues from voice calls and sending SMS’s, on account of the application. Now also for the web, WhatsApp intends to further expand its space in the attention of users, who will be able to access your account also from their personal computer.
With the DNA of innovation in the veins, WhatsApp prepares for the battle by getting better. Last week it released an update to Android and iOS smartphones with a number of features that will make the app even more convenient and functional for users. Among the main ones, the new tools allow the user to change the conversation with specific contacts and reduce data usage on calls when in bad signal locations. The new version of the application also brought the correction of some errors.
Aside from the above mentioned improvements, WhatsApp is preparing for a possible blocking of its services by mobile operators. It seems that the first country that can impose limitations is Italy, as the software translation team in Italy has been asked to add phrases in the Italian version of the application, warning of the possible restriction.
Here in Brazil, former Communications Minister Ricardo Berzoini took a stand in favor of telecommunication companies and against WhatsApp, claiming that the application did not generate money for the public purse. Such thinking, in addition to being disconnected from reality, is sophisticated, as all data plan users indirectly pay all Fistel fees inherent in activating and enjoying the service. Accordingly, the president of Anatel, João Resende, classified WhatsApp as a value added service, and its use is simply a consequence of the use, enjoyment and enjoyment of the contracted service. That is, regular exercise of the user’s right.
Luckily for users who are satisfied with the quality of service, technology and innovation advance independently of the bureaucracy and the concern of the political class in general with the welfare of the Brazilian people. It should be borne in mind that the titans of innovation have in their primary thinking to do something to improve people’s lives, and the profit derived from their success is merely the consequence of a virtuous circle.
Perhaps one day, the State today unable to guarantee the basic rights of the Brazilian citizen, rediscover its path by remembering the purpose for which it was created, namely the common welfare. I dare to think that innovation titans have much to teach the Brazilian political class with regard to ethics, meritocracy and competence. Is this why innovation bothers some sectors of Brazilian politics so much?
Dane Avanzi is a lawyer, telecommunications entrepreneur and president of Aerbras – Association of Radiocommunication Companies of Brazil.