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What's up with WhatsApp? Comparing Mobile Instant Messaging Behaviors with Traditional SMS
Karen Church, Telefonica Research, Spain
Rodrigo de Oliveira, Telefonica Research, Spain
Time: Fri 10:03 - 10:27 | Session: Collaboration and Communication | Location: Gro├če Aula

With the advent of instant mobile messaging applications, traditional SMS is in danger of loosing it's reign as the king of mobile messaging. Applications like WhatsApp allow mobile users to send real-time text messages to individuals or groups of friends at no cost. While there is a vast body of research on traditional text messaging practices, little is understood about how and why people have adopted and appropriated instant mobile messaging applications. The goal of this work is to provide a deeper understanding of the motives and perceptions of a popular mobile messaging application called WhatsApp and to learn more about what this service offers above and beyond traditional SMS. To this end, we present insights from two studies - an interview study and a large-scale survey - highlighting that while WhatsApp offers benefits such as cost, sense of community and immediacy, SMS is still considered a more reliable, privacy preserving technology for mobile communication.

MobileHCI 2013 Proceedings in the ACM Digital Library.

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