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1. Introduction: WhatsApp is a messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) service that 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. WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum and later on acquired by Facebook Inc. in February 2014.

2. Features of WhatsApp: WhatsApp provide the following features to its users
a) Message: The registered WhatsApp user can send other users a text message, an image, a voice message, an audio or a video or PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, slideshows and more within the capacity of 100MB. WhatsApp uses phone’s Internet connection to send messages and it is much cheaper than that of sending an SMS or MMS.
b) Voice Call: WhatsApp voice call allows people to make a near free call in comparison to call through telecommunications companies even when people are in another country.
c) Video Call: The WhatsApp video call provides a face-to-face conversation. WhatsApp video calls use phone’s Internet connection, instead of cell plan’s voice minutes, so people need not to worry about expensive calling charges.
d) Group: WhatsApp allows group of upto 257 contacts through which people can keep in touch with the members by chats, share messages, photos, and videos. One can also name and re-name the group, mute or customize notifications.
e) Status: WhatsApp status allows one to share text, photo, video and GIF updates with the people that save their mobile number in their phone and will disappear after 24 hours.
f) WhatsApp Web: WhatsApp was officially made available for PCs through a web client under the name WhatsApp Web. It is simply an extension of the phone i.e. the web browser mirrors conversations and messages from mobile device. To use this feature WhatsApp user’s handset must be connected to the Internet for the browser application to function and it will keep all of the messages still live on the phone.
g) WhatsApp Business: WhatsApp Business allows companies to communicate with customers who use the standard WhatsApp client. The companies can create a catalogue to showcase their products and services and connect with their customers easily by using tools to automate, sort and quickly respond to messages.
h) WhatsApp Payments: WhatsApp Payments is a peer-to-peer money transfer feature that is currently only available in India.
i) Security: The latest version of WhatsApp is built on end-to-end encryption i.e. messages and calls are secured so that only you and the person you’re communicating with can read or listen to them, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.

3. Conclusion: WhatsApp became the world’s most popular messaging application by 2015 and has over 2 billion users worldwide as of February 2020. WhatsApp follows a store and forward mechanism for exchanging messages between two users. When a user sends a message, it first travels to the WhatsApp server where it is stored, then the server repeatedly requests the receiver acknowledge receipt of the message. As soon as the message is acknowledged, the server drops the message; it is no longer available in the database of the server. The WhatsApp server keeps the message only for 30 days in its database when it is not delivered (when the receiver is not active on WhatsApp for 30 days). Due to the limited number of people that can be added in a WhatsApp group its usages in organization like libraries are very limited.

How to Cite this Article?
APA Citation, 7th Ed.:  Barman, B. (2020). A comprehensive book on Library and Information Science. New Publications.
Chicago 16th Ed.:  Barman, Badan. A Comprehensive Book on Library and Information Science. Guwahati: New Publications, 2020.
MLA Citation 8th Ed:  Barman, Badan. A Comprehensive Book on Library and Information Science. New Publications, 2020.

Badan BarmanDr. Badan Barman at present working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science, Gauhati University, Guwahati-781014, Assam, India. He is the creator of the LIS Links ( - India’s most popular social networking website for Library and Information Science professionals. He also created the Open Access Journals Search Engine (OAJSE) (, UGC NET Guide (, Assam Archive ( and LIS Study ( website.

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