Tugulab Blog.

A different point of view about the WhatsApp’s growth strategy

author avatar


One of the thing I enjoy the most is reading books and article about startups, marketing and entrepreneurship. Every time a founder of a successful company or vc sharing tips and experiences that I can learn from something that I can then use with my startup.
Last week I was reading a post about the growth strategy of WhatsApp when I stumble upon something that didn’t fit my opinion of the app.

What I have found surreal is what the WhatsApp founders think was the reason of their success. They said they’ve become the main messaging app because they have always been focused on user experience.
They even claim that they’ve always refused to do any marketing because it would have taken them away from their main focus: crafting a great user experience…

The article continues with different citations from the founders claiming different reasons to support this thesis.

In my mind I was thinking:

Whaaaaaat are you talking about?!

The user experience of WhatsApp has notoriously been one of the worst ever. Until the Facebook acquisition, their iOS app had the worst UX in the top ranking apps for years.

I understand that I am not in the position to criticise the founders of a $19 billion company. But come on, I have never ever heard anyone celebrating the WhatsApp’s UX.

I think their app has become the market leader for another reason. They have been the first to understand that making a dumbphone version of their app would have helped them to spread consistently between groups of friends. If all your friends have WhatsApp, it’s easier that you’ll use it for your conversations.

If only half of your group of friend has WhatsApp, you’ll use the phone’s default one to be safe they receive your messages.
More people use this app in your circles, bigger the word of mouth will be .

I absolutely don’t think that they won the market with user experience, especially because almost all their competitors focused on that.

This article originally appeared on http://blog.fanchimp.com/