Speculation is circulating online: the news app wants further development. This is what lies behind it.
What are the features of the new WhatsApp? Whatsapp has not publicly announced the jobs yet. However, they are found in beta versions of the app, i.e. in pre-release versions that have not yet been thoroughly tested. For example, it is about the possibility of closely linking WhatsApp with Instagram, listening to music or watching movies together during video calls. The app can also connect businesses more closely and make shopping on Whatsapp easier.
In what direction is the application developing? According to last year's figures, Whatsapp is the most used social media in Switzerland, ahead of Facebook and Instagram and far ahead of Tiktok and X. However, Whatsapp does not make headlines very often. The app is increasingly evolving into something that can be described as a super app: an app that combines a wide range of functions.
What makes a super app? You can do almost anything with the super app, be it sending messages, watching videos, shopping online, playing games, ordering food or transferring money. The most famous of these super apps is called WeChat and it has more than 1.3 billion users: most of them in China, where the app comes from. WeChat has become an integral part of Chinese daily life. According to statistics, Chinese people spend approximately one and a half hours on WeChat every day.
Is WhatsApp underestimated today? The app has long since become more than just a news app. It will likely take the step towards becoming a super app of X, which is still a long way off despite Elon Musk's announcements to the contrary. But the super app's chances of success are not particularly good in the West. Wechat had different requirements in China: many people there had only encountered the Internet through their smartphones, that is, through apps, especially WeChat. The app has faced much less competition than other services in China, for example when it comes to online payment functions, which are essential for a super app.
How should AI be integrated into a super app? Whatsapp wants to offer a wider range of services in the future, so that users will have less reason to leave the app. This includes, for example, the ability to summon an AI chatbot directly in Whatsapp. However, many tech companies and startups are currently trying to emphasize that their products work with AI – even if the term AI is used quite heavily. Often it is just a matter of jumping on the hype in order to be interesting to investors and clients.
Does moving to a super app mean more costs or advertising? WhatsApp belongs to a meta group, Mark Zuckerberg's group, which also includes Facebook and Instagram. The company has enough money and know-how to offer such new functionality without having to rely on new sources of funds. But Whatsapp is walking a fine line on its way to becoming a great app. Many people still use the app primarily as a news app and are not at all interested in the new functionality. As Whatsapp becomes cluttered with more and more options, people may be turning away from it in favor of sleeker and simpler messaging apps.
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