WhatsApp is a mobile program that allows users to text over the internet at no cost. It currently has 450 million users who are taking advantage of the ability to text anyone anywhere around the globe. The application made headlines last week when the multi – billion dollar company Facebook bought WhatsApp for a whopping $19 US billion, despite earning just $20 million in revenue last year.

Did you know that WhatsApp was supposed to be a paid product, a business model for profit? That was the plan until WhatsApp co – founder Jan Koum received an email from an exchange student who lived in Australia changed the course of the company. The exchange student relayed her situation, where because of the distance and the cost, she was unable to get in touch with her family. That’s when Mr. Koum gave the link to the app for free, and from there it all made sense – providing free service to those who need it outweighed the need for profit. This business model drew a larger user base for the company, which eventually caught the eye of Facebook.

The company is set to release voice call capabilities by the second quarter of the year.

Read more about this on the Sydney Morning Herald website.