A 3-hr downtime: What was up with WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is one of the most popular mobile apps of last year.  The developing of the app started in early 2009 by Americans Brian Acton and Jan Koum, both former employees as Yahoo. Having acquired some initial funding with the help of their former colleagues at Yahoo, WhatsApp began to update its services, soon allowing users to send photos, which contributes to the rapid grow of the app’s popularity.

As of December 2013, nearly 5 years after the very first version of it, WhatsApp had over 400 million monthly users. The app’s success not only throws shade at other similar apps or social networking sites that include instant messaging options (such as Facebook) but it goes a step further – it presents a free alternative to text messaging. WhatsApp was sold to Facebook on 19th February 2014 for $19 billion. Three days later the service was down for a few hours, prompting users to joke about Facebook “shutting down their competition” and WhatsApp’s creators “going on holiday” after having sold it. The 3-hour crash of WhatsApp, however, was due to technical difficulties and the app is once again working perfectly.

Both the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook and the app’s “downtime” has been commented on widely all over Facebook, Twitter and other social media. I decided to analyze a few of those tweets using ScraperWiki and searching for “Whatsapp”.

Unsurprisingly, the tweets came from all over the world:

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It seems that most people are aware of the connection between WhatsApp and Facebook, having used those two words in most Tweets. Here are some of the other keywords:

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Most people tweeted without the use of a hashtag:

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This search was conducted on Monday, 24th Feb 2014.

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