WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned mobile messaging app, might be landing on desktops in the near future. While WhatsApp rose to popularity as a mobile messaging app that uses the smartphone’s SIM card to authenticate, and it’s stuck to mobile devices so far, that might be changing soon, according to an AndroidWorld.nl report. Earlier this week, messaging app Telegram’s founder, Pavel Durov, said in an interview that WhatsApp has tried to poach his web app developer, raising suspicions that WhatsApp might be working on its own.
One of the hindrances of using WhatsApp as your main messaging platform, like most of us do in my part of the world, is that you’re tied to your phone (or connected tablet). WhatsApp doesn’t authenticate you with usernames or passwords, instead requiring a SIM card to work on any device. It had thus far been completely alien (aside from “hacked” solutions like WhatsRemote) to our desktops and full, comfortable, typing-friendly keyboards. That is in contrast to its competitors, Line, Viber, Telegram, and WeChat, which have all developed a desktop counterpart to their mobile solutions. But WhatsApp’s lag might be changing, well, sometime down the line. It seems the hints started when Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov revealed in an interview that WhatsApp tried to hire his web app developer. Telegram had been capitalizing on its privacy features and desktop and web apps to differentiate itself and grow its user base. In response, WhatsApp recently made a few steps forward in the privacy field by starting to encrypt messages, but it had yet to solve the desktop issue.