What is WhatsApp Web?
WhatsApp is a great communication tool, allowing you to easily send messages and files for free and a whole lot more. But sometimes it’s easier to type out your messages on a full-size keyboard with the ease of a desktop web browser. That’s where WhatsApp Web comes in to use. WhatsApp Web gives its users the ability to read and send messages directly from their web browsers.
Technical Definition: WhatsApp Web is a computer based extension of the WhatsApp account on your phone. The messages you send and receive are fully synced between your phone and your computer, and you can see all messages on both devices. Any action you take on the phone will apply to WhatsApp Web and vice versa.
WhatsApp Web is not another WhatsApp account. When you use WhatsApp on your computer and your phone, you are simply accessing the same account on these two devices.
Here’s how to set up WhatsApp Web on a computer or tablet.
How to Use WhatsApp Web on Desktop Computer
It couldn’t be easier to access WhatsApp web – all you need is your computer, and your phone with WhatsApp logged in.
Firstly, head over to web.whatsapp.com and you’ll be faced with a large QR code, which is a black-and-white pattern of squares.
Now load up WhatsApp on your phone, then press the ‘menu’ button, which is the three vertical dots to the top left of the screen, and select WhatsApp web.
You’re faced with a list of desktop and tablet devices you’re logged in to, so if your computer’s already linked to WhatsApp, it’ll be on this list (although you won’t have seen the QR code on the WhatsApp web website in that case).
To log in on a new device, press the white + sign on the top right of the menu, which will launch your camera – you may need to give WhatsApp permission to do so if you haven’t already.
Now line the box in the camera up with the QR code on your computer screen – if this works, the camera on your phone will close, and WhatsApp web will open on your computer. If it doesn’t work, try refreshing your computer page to try again.
How to Use WhatsApp Web on iPad or Android tablet
Setting up WhatsApp web on your browser on a tablet is a little tricky, because the tablet browsers don’t appear to let you use WhatsApp web – instead they prompt you to download the app.
However, venturing to the app store on your tablet will result in it telling you the app isn’t available – which is correct.
The way to get around this is to request the desktop site on your tablet, which will show you the page as it’d appear on a computer instead of what you’re seeing on a tablet.
To do this on Safari on iPad, press and hold the page refresh button to the right of the URL bar at the top. After a few moments a prompt will appear to request desktop site – press this, and you should see the same page you’d get on a computer. This can be a little temperamental, so try a few times if it doesn’t work immediately.
On Chrome on Android tablets, press the menu button on the browser, which is three vertical dots to the top right of the screen. An option on the menu is ‘Desktop site’ with a tick-box next to it – selection this option, and the page will reload to the desktop version.
From here, you can follow the instructions above “How to Use WhatsApp Web on Desktop Computer”.
Whatsapp Info & History
WhatsApp Messenger or simply WhatsApp is a freeware, cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) service owned by Facebook, Inc. It allows users to send text messages and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other media. WhatsApp’s client application runs on mobile devices but is also accessible from desktop computers, as long as the user’s mobile device remains connected to the Internet while they use the desktop app.
The service requires users to provide a standard cellular mobile number for registering with the service. In January 2018, WhatsApp released a standalone business app targeted at small business owners, called WhatsApp Business, to allow companies to communicate with customers who use the standard WhatsApp client.
The client application was created by WhatsApp Inc. of Mountain View, California, which was acquired by Facebook in August 2014 for approximately US$19.3 billion. It became the world’s most popular messaging application by 2015, and has over 2 billion users worldwide as of August 2021. It has become the primary means of electronic communication in multiple countries and locations, including Latin America, India, Pakistan and large parts of Europe, including the United Kingdom, Spain, and France.
WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, former employees of Yahoo!. After leaving Yahoo! in December 2007, they took some time off in South America. At one point, they applied for jobs at Facebook but were rejected.
In January 2009, after purchasing an iPhone and realizing the potential of the app industry on the App Store, Koum and Acton began visiting Koum’s friend Alex Fishman in West San Jose to discuss a new type of messaging app that would “[show] statuses next to individual names of the people”. They realized that to take the idea further, they’d need an iPhone developer. Fishman visited RentACoder.com, found Russian developer Igor Solomennikov, and introduced him to Koum.
Koum named the app WhatsApp to sound like “what’s up”. On August 24, 2009, he incorporated WhatsApp Inc. in California. However, when early versions of WhatsApp kept crashing, Koum considered giving up and looking for a new job. Acton encouraged him to wait for a “few more months”.
In August 2009, Apple launched push notifications, allowing users to be pinged when they were not using an app. Koum changed WhatsApp so that when a user’s status is changed, everyone in the user’s network would be notified. WhatsApp 2.0 was released with a messaging component and the number of active users suddenly increased to 250,000. Although Acton was working on another startup idea, he decided to join the company.
In December 2009, Acton persuaded five former friends at Yahoo! to invest $250,000 in seed funding, and Acton became a co-founder and was given a stake. He officially joined WhatsApp on December 1. After months at beta stage, the application launched in December 2009, exclusively on the App Store for the iPhone. Koum then hired a friend in Los Angeles, Chris Peiffer, to develop a BlackBerry version, which arrived two months later.
To cover the primary cost of sending verification texts to users, WhatsApp was changed from a free service to a paid one. In December 2009, the ability to send photos was added to the iPhone version. By early 2011, WhatsApp was one of the top 20 apps at Apple’s U.S. App Store.
In August 2011, Sequoia Capital invested about $8 million for more than 15% of the company, after months of negotiation with Sequoia partner Jim Goetz.
By August 2013, WhatsApp had about 200 million active users and 50 staff members. Sequoia invested another $50 million, and WhatsApp was valued at $1.5 billion.
In a December 2013 blog post, WhatsApp claimed that 400 million active users used the service each month.