WhatsApp is an internationally available freeware, cross-platform centralized instant messaging (IM) and voice-over-IP (VoIP) service owned by American company Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook). It allows users to send text and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other content.
WhatsApp's client application runs on mobile devices, and can be accessed from computers. The service requires a cellular mobile telephone number to sign up. In January 2018, WhatsApp released a standalone business app called WhatsApp Business which can communicate with the standard WhatsApp client.
The client application was created by WhatsApp Inc. of Mountain View, California, which was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for approximately US$19.3 billion. It became the world's most popular messaging application by 2015, and had more than 2 billion users worldwide by February 2020.[ By 2016 it had become the primary means of Internet communication in regions including Latin America, the Indian subcontinent, and large parts of Europe and Africa.