WhatsID

by Volker Weber

What is your ID? Google wants to own it. So does Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Microsoft.

The smaller players don't want to create their own IDs. Like Path or Last.fm, they just want to use your Facebook ID. WhatsApp used an ever better escape route: your mobile phone number. And thus, they can find all your friends on the network just by looking at your address book. That was their greatest strength.

And it is killing the service for me. Why? I have so many phone numbers. When traveling, I buy local SIMs and put them in my phone. You never know what my current number is. But you can always find vowe by his mail address.

Comments

WhatsApp works, even if you put another SIM card in your phone and even if you contact another phone which uses another SIM card too. Tried this in Spain last year from my Android phone to my GFs iPhone.

Probably not after you clear the app data ...

Robert Dahlem, 2013-07-23 11:59

What's probably more important for vowe is that you can only have one WhatsApp instance (i.e. one device) registered to a given phone number at a time. So, even though you can exchange the SIM card in your mobile device and keep using the phone number known to your WhatsApp contacts, when you switch the devices you can't receive messages anymore without re-registering the device everytime you switch.

And you don't need to follow vowe.net for too long to figure out that vowe is switching devices even more often than he switches SIM cards... ;-)

Ragnar Schierholz, 2013-07-23 13:36

And you don't need to follow vowe.net for too long to figure out that vowe simply likes mail.

Nils Michael Becker, 2013-07-23 14:07

I am really desperately waiting for Whatsapp to expand their services. An obvious first step would be to enable a web-login and setting up a username. Different numbers could then be assigned to the account.

This could all be optional and thus not damage the ease of the current model.

Of course resources always are an issue and the establishment of a steady cash flow on all platforms (1Usd/year) seems to have priority.

Hubert Stettner, 2013-07-23 17:22

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vowe.net is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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