New Delhi: After having over a billion users on mobile, WhatsApp has just launched the desktop version of its disruptive chat software. With this move, Facebook-owned WhatsApp may be targeting the business users, as rumours also suggest that Facebook may be positioning WhatsApp to compete directly with Skype with an upcoming video calling service.
On the company blog, Whatsapp announced the new desktop app, which it said, would allow people to stay in touch anytime and anywhere – be it from the phone or the home computer or even the work PC.
“Like Whatsapp Web, our desktop app is simply an extension of your phone: the app mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device,” the blog post says.
The new app is available for Windows 8+ and Mac OS 10.9 and above. It is also synced with Whatsapp on the user’s mobile device. Because the app runs natively on the desktop, you’ll have support of native desktop notifications, better keyboard shortcuts and much more, the blog says.
Earlier this year, the company talked about its plans to test new business tools and also announced removal of its yearly subscription cost and the introduction of VoIP calls.
“The next step for the company is to start growing its revenues,” Co-founder Jan Koum mentioned at a recent event.
While WhatsApp is currently a rage on mobiles, its services on desktop remain fragmented. Even though it has a web version, the app required users to have their smartphones turned on. The desktop app will not only let users view messages via desktop browser, but also add voice calling services to facilitate better communication.
Further with the rumours of a video calling service on the cards, WhatsApp’s may take on Skype, which has a desktop client, and is the primary source of communication for many businesses across the globe for several years now. And needless to say, the IM battle may also intensify between Facebook and Microsoft as the desktop client would bring WhatsApp at par with business clients.
For consumers, of course, it’s about more choice. So, how does one download the new desktop app? All you need to do is visit this link from any browser on the desktop. Open the app and scan the QR code using the Whatsapp on your phone. You could look up WhatsApp Web menu under the settings tab.