Laurent-Pierre Baculard, a digital practice lead at Bain & Company, posits that the secrets to WhatsApp’s social messaging dominance are three-fold:
#1 – The Power of Focus
WhatsApp knew what its customers wanted and stuck to it, avoiding the usual corporate temptation to do multiple things at once.
#2 – The Importance of Scalability
The business model WhatsApp has today is essentially the one it started with.
It launched a product, gathered feedback, and kept iterating as it scaled and added users.
#3 – The Primacy of Asset Building
In deciding to forgo ads, WhatsApp made a bet that the company’s value depended more on building a user base than on bogging down the business with worries about monetization.
The bet clearly paid off.
WhatsApp has a revenue model, but it is based on volume. That volume depends on utility, and utility depends on building the largest, most vibrant network possible.