WhatsApp is a free messaging system currently owned by Facebook. It allows users to send unlimited text messages, voice messages, and video calls, as well as images, documents, and other media to other WhatsApp users around the world. Users can access the app through mobile devices and desktop computers — all they need is a cell phone number. Whatsapp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world and is available internationally, with over a billion users worldwide.
Users must be 13 to use Whatsapp. Younger WhatsApp users prefer to use the application rather than their phone’s native texting because it allows them more privacy and freedom, or so they believe. This is primarily because parents tend to be more familiar with basic texting than newer applications like WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is not considered to be a typical type of social media, since the platform is not public. Rather, it is considered “dark social” — social sharing that is not measured by web analytics platforms. This means that users cannot flag inappropriate messages to alert WhatsApp to the problem, though they may screenshot the message and share it with the company. The company cannot remove posts, though it can ban users.