WhatsApp - The Messenger App That Surpassed Chargeable SMS

We have come a long way on our mobile phones, from pure phone calls to text messages, and then better - free text messages and phone calls on WiFi networks. This is WhatsApp.

Ian Ng

1/15/20242 min read

a green square button with a phone on it
a green square button with a phone on it

The Ancient But Still Existing Text Messaging Service - SMS

Everyone being a young adult right now knows that they have been through a time when there are only chargeable SMS text messaging services, provided by your beloved telco.

A time when WhatsApp did not exist. Oh and postpaid services too.

Imagine each SMS you sent out charges you by a quarter.

Such a thing kept people away from their phones for the entire day.

As technology became more and more essential to our daily lives, traditional SMS charges are something that consumers are longing to get rid of.

The Online Messaging Service That Grew With The Prominence of Smartphones

At the dawn of smartphone mass adoption, when iPhones are slowly being accepted by people as the new age of mobile phones, that was where WhatsApp gained attention.

A Service That Does Not Charge

Having an online chat service on your phone that does not charge you a single cent was a great thing to have back then.

People could see who's online, and start messaging their friends for the whole day.

Even better, the process of sending is smooth, reaching the other party within seconds.

This level of interaction on smartphones kickstarted the smartphone era, where our social lives started to revolve around our phones.

Voice and Video Calls

Then WhatsApp added voice and video calls. No one ignores a free and good mobile application.

Whatever services we had on our mobile networks, none had free video calls like this app.

Now we have more ways than one to connect with our loved ones through our phones, any time of the day.

Ever-evolving User Functions

We heard of the phrase: we can't take back the word we spit out.

But with WhatsApp now, we can, by deleting the text message which we just sent. Though deletion will still leave a trail of bubble chat saying 'deleted message', it saved lots of misunderstanding from happening.

This is what WhatsApp is constantly adding to its product development - useful features that benefit the users.


WhatsApp is essential in the smartphone age. They have been in the business since the beginning of smartphone adoption, and definitely changed how existing telcos think of providing better services to customers in its presence.

WhatsApp, worthy of their place in communications history.