Instant messaging: WhatsApp with that?

Ticks causing fever were documented as far back as ancient Egyptian times; they’re also famous for spreading Lyme disease. Australia even has something called a Paralysis Tick, which you don’t often hear mentioned in their tourism brochures. But there’s a new tick in town that’s a lot more useful to us… the blue ticks on a WhatsApp message, indicating that we’ve officially communicated with someone.

You can send images, video clips, audio files and make calls, and the company prides itself on being securely encrypted, for free. All with an interface that makes it easy for your technophobe aunt to use, partly why it’s achieved so much success over the last decade.

Other messaging options like Viber, Telegram and WeChat are all solid, but can’t beat the current messaging heavyweight champion. With 30 billion WhatsApps sent daily, it’s the most popular messaging application on the planet.

What is the protocol with WhatsApp and instant messaging? Does it have a place in business, or is it just for sexting couples or teen gossip? Is it too intrusive to be used on a professional level?

Using Direct Messages on Twitter, Facebook mails or even asking someone to get hold of you via your Instagram comments could once be seen as an encroachment on privacy, but are now all fair game to aid communication. Like it or not, shouldn’t we be able to use all the new communication tools at our disposal?

When cellphones first came out, they were nice to have, and then became an invasion of privacy. Getting hold of someone immediately suddenly became the most important thing. Was instant connection just as important when you could only get hold of people on a landline? Back then you had to plan ahead for proper correspondence.

Even further back, Pheidippides is said to have run from Marathon to Athens (250km) to deliver news of a military victory against the Persians. If only he’d had WiFi.