Archive for March 2024

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[Commlist] WhatsApp: from a one-to-one messaging app to a global communication platform, flyer and blurb

Fri Mar 08 18:29:10 GMT 2024

Amelia Johns, Ariadna Matamoros Fernandez and Emma Baulch, would like to let you know about a new book, out now with Polity Digital Media and Society Series.

The book traces the story of WhatsApp’s technical, social and commercial development. It charts the rise of WhatsApp through the 2010s, as chat apps became a primary mode of communication for many people across the world. In this context WhatsApp quickly outpaced rival messaging apps and developed into a default communication app for users around the world, particularly in the Global South. But after Meta’s purchase of WhatsApp in 2014, we argue that WhatsApp took another step in its evolution, transforming from a simple, ‘gimmickless’ app into a global communication platform, with its business and broadcasting functions elevating WhatsApp above its former chat app status. We argue that understanding this development can shed light on the trajectory of Meta’s industrial development, and how digital economies and social media landscapes are evolving with the rise of ‘superapps’.

The book’s chapters chart this evolution across multiple dimensions, exploring how WhatsApp’s unique characteristics mediate new kinds of social and commercial transactions; how they pose new opportunities and challenges for platform regulation, civic participation and democracy; and how they give rise to new kinds of digital literacy as WhatsApp becomes integrated into everyday digital cultures across the globe.

Please see the table of contents:


Chapter One: Why WhatsApp Matters

Chapter Two: Platform Biography

Chapter Three: Everyday Uses of WhatsApp

Chapter Four: WhatsApp Publics: Activism, News, Disorder

Chapter Five: WhatsApp Business Model

Chapter Six: WhatsApp Futures

To find more information or to purchase go to this link - <>

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