WhatsApp Brings Messaging Service to Web Browsers

WhatsappOTT messaging app WhatsApp has introduced a way of accessing its service through web browsers, enabling users to connect their phone and computer to the same account.

The Facebook-owned app boasts over 700m monthly active users and has become extremely popular in the European market. The web version of the service mirrors functionality available for apps like WeChat and Line, which are more popular in Asia.

Connecting their phone to their computer requires users to jump through several hoops. First, they must be running the latest version of WhatsApp on their phone (and cannot be using an iPhone, due to “Apple platform limitations”). Then, they must access a QR code via a website, making sure they are using Googles Chrome browser.

Finally, after opening up WhatsApp and selecting the appropriate option, they must use their phones camera to snap a photo of the code, and must ensure they their phone remains connected to the internet while they chat.

The complexity of the process begs the question why users would want to bother. Rival services have cited numerous reasons for doing so, including the speed of using a physical keyboard, the ability to easily save images or videos to their computer, and the convenience of uniting work computers and phones for office workers. Whether WhatsApp will see many users taking up the function remains to be seen.