Move over WhatsApp, you just became useless!! Well, to me anyway. I was never much for the app, and now that you will soon be able to keep conversations with your tweeps inside Twitter itself. WhatsApp will be virtually unneeded now for those looking outside Twitter DMs for better collaborative conversation platform. For those not privy, WhatsApp is a safe SMS service that allowed users to safely text one another without giving out your number or primary email account. Also saves on burner phones purchased and junk emails created just so you do not spam up your primary inbox. It allows blocking, and reporting of aggressive user behavior, just like Twitter and other social networks. It is basically the safe way to learn more about that person you swiped right on. So it will be still used in online dating I am sure, but even the most widely used online dating services offer user services just like it.
Yesterday though, Twitter officially posted to their forums that it no longer was holding users to a 140 character limit. I am almost positive it is in response to it’s rival social powerhouse Facebook buying WhatsApp in February of 2014 where they themselves found low usage of the Facebook Messenger app. What it was is that people needed privacy when meeting new people and moving from an online dating sites, content syndicates or social bookmarking sites, so Facebook invested.
It is certainly going to take a heavy user experience update, or possibly a further shrinking of the data transmitted to lower mobile device data usage costs for users to salvage Facebook’s $19 billion dollar investment. They are likely to have made it up by now with low app costs and high advertising competition, but now Facebook will seriously need to pull a rabbit out of their hat to keep WhatsApp profiting and useful.
Twitter is already where many users, especially in business relations, are starting the conversations with new people. WhatsApp may have further pushed Facebook closer to a whooping 1.5 Billion users and that was noticed by Twitter. After Facebook’s growth slowed do to updates to it’s Timeline, the change in advertising and costs to businesses to do so and the challenges of the Facebook Open Graph, Twitter gained a chance. I believe the adoption of using a third-party messaging service, seeing it’s direct message usage rate fall, and the growth of WhatsApp’s success, Twitter had the right timing to make a strategic move. What they saw within reason and nothing that involved mergers, buyouts, or compromising it’s user base with poor experience was to amplify their bandwidth to support, wait for it… 10,000 character limit… yep, 10,000 CHARACTERS!! Talk about dramatically improving user experience instead!
Heck, it may become my help keep my inbox low, or at least help keep a little cleaner, since Twitter could become my new way to transmit text-only messages – I can see heavy B2B use, especially in the event marketing sector. The new update takes effect in a few weeks sometime in July 2015 according to Twitter.