WhatsApp, the online messaging app, has announced that it is planning to attract millions of its Indian users by introducing ‘missed call’ feature. The company released a joint statement on this at the World Mobile Conference at Barcelona.
“WhatsApp is really popular among people and we at Facebook stride to make it even more appealing by adding those missing pieces that will make us the front runner in the market”, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook has been quoted.
“Its a wonderful addition and quite unique actually. Upon researching we found that while many user in India install WhatsApp but never use it afterwards, we found out that almost 46% of them do away with the service because of this unique missed call feature that they use. And we decided to introduce that right inside the app. Facebook is reported to plan to increase its footprint in India from 114.8 million users to a staggering 400 million users.
It is observed that giving missed calls where the caller disconnects after a ring or two is hugely popular in India and is often used as a way to pass on “the message” without being charged for a call.
Children and employees use the facility regularly to “communicate” with their parents or employers. Missed calls are also used extensively for marketing purposes. Some television channels offer a missed call service to viewers who wish to be alerted about specific show timings.
“Given the huge potential we decided to give it a go and make our presence strengthen even more in the sub continent” – Brian Acton, the billionaire CEO of WhatsApp quoted here.
However no technical details are available on how the system would work. WhatsApp’s new team is right now having a holiday in the Copacabana beach and is unreachable at the time of reporting this. We have given them a missed call and they should be available for comment on this soon.
Meanwhile, numerous telecommunication carriers in India are reportedly against the move. The United Employee Association of Bharti Airtel (UEA BA) are reportedly planning to stage a ‘dharna’ (protest) at the Menlo Park, CA.
“This can’t be happening. We will be out of our business if this happens. We are planning to protest this. Right now we are looking out for an auspicious day to launch. But it should happen very soon. Mr. Arvind Kejriwal has agreed to preside over the event”, an anonymous senior employee of Airtel has been caught saying.