Franz is a free messaging app which currently supports Slack, WhatsApp, WeChat, HipChat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Google Hangouts, GroupMe, Skype and many more. Download is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
WhatsApp introduces end-to-end encryption for all communications – chats, pictures, videos, etc. I’m sure it’ll help them get more individuals and businesses on the network, as well as probably ban the app in a handful of countries.
WhatsApp has always prioritized making your data and communication as secure as possible. And today, we’re proud to announce that we’ve completed a technological development that makes WhatsApp a leader in protecting your private communication: full end-to-end encryption. From now on when you and your contacts use the latest version of the app, every call you make, and every message, photo, video, file, and voice message you send, is end-to-end encrypted by default, including group chats.
The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of like a face-to-face conversation.
TechCrunch is reporting on WhatsApp passing the 800,000,000 active users mark. Almost exactly a year ago, it was at 500 million active users. I don’t care much about WhatsApp’s business or service, but from the technical point of view this is quite significant. That’s almost a million active users acquired every day for the last year. That’d be a challenge for anyone to handle. Thinking that this growth might have been not too linear gives me digital goose bumps.
I haven’t seen anything recent describing their infrastructure, but this article from last year provides a starting point for the imagination: Erland + FreeBSD + 550 servers, with preference for larger box with loads of RAM and cores. I’m sure that have grown quite a bit in a year too.
According to the WhatsApp blog:
Thanks to all of you, half a billion people around the world are now regular, active WhatsApp users. In the last few months, we’ve grown fastest in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, and our users are also sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day. We could go on, but for now, it’s more important that we get back to work – because here at WhatsApp, we’re just getting started.
Now that’s quite impressive, not only for the number of active users but for the amount of the activity as well.