Digital Media

Why Whatsapp grew the way it did?

Great insight to why whatsapp grew on OmMaliks WhatsApp is Different

A reader emailed and point out that WhatsApp initial success was because it “spent time building for platforms that were not sexy – Blackberry, j2me, Early android OS”

Developing apps for all the niche platforms given them the privilege to app markets with little competition in their field. And after those markets disappeared the users moved to more popular platforms such as iOS and Android. Absolute win for Whatsapp.

and it “grew internationally once SMS fees started creeping up and first set of cheap prepaid data plans showed up.” Since Whatsapp uses very little bandwidth, “carriers started taking notice and instead of pitching full data packages, started unbundling data and started offering WhatsApp packages.” Reliance in India being a prime example, mostly as a result of growing penetration within each country. These were usually promoted very heavily within each country. At one point, people in india were paying 15 rupees per month for unlimited WhatsApp instead of spending more on data.

Having defined a realistic price on the service allowed WhatsApp to disrupt based solely on price. This carried the market with them to a cheaper price point allowing local carriers to promote them to their users.

See how many users they have in relation to their employee numbers and be astonished on OmMalik’s page.

Apart from that, this one is truly a unique story of user acquisition.

Digital Media


Google has been promoting the use of WebP, the still image derivative of its WebM video codec. Mozilla has also been looking at the issue, but the open source browser organization has come up with a different conclusion: we don’t need a new image format, we just need to make better JPEGs.

To that end, the group has released its own JPEG compression library, mozjpeg 2.0, which reduces file sizes by around five percent compared to the widely used libjpeg-turbo.

mozjpeg is free and permissively licensed, so Mozilla is hoping that it will see widespread adoption by those creating JPEG images.

As for why Mozilla isn’t interested in WebP even though Google promotes it as superior, it all depends on how you measure image quality. All lossy compression formats contain errors relative to the original image, due to the data that is lost. The thing that makes comparing lossy formats hard is that not all errors are equal; the human visual system is more attuned to some kinds of error and less so to others. For example, it’s more sensitive to errors in brightness than errors in color.

Simple is good, if libjpeg-turbo is working towards better human perception, who needs a new image format?

We don’t need new image formats: WebP vs Jpg

Digital Media

Gruber on headlines “Lionel Messi Is Impossible”

There’s a boy-who-cried-wolf aspect to the modern art of click-bait headline writing. There are certain patterns that emerge, which I’m sure are statistically shown to work. For example, listicles typically no longer use round numbers like 5, 10, 15, 20 — instead, you see things like “17 Gay Celebs Who Pretend to Be Straight on TV” and “17 Facts That Will Forever Change the Way You Look at These Famous People”. (I didn’t make those up, I saw both of those today in the scammy Taboola links beneath an article on TPM.) I’m sure these tricks work, that there’s all sorts of analytics data that shows it — but no trick works forever. People inevitably catch on.


Bolding added by me.

Stream of consciousness

Led Zeppelin’s (?) Stairway to Heaven

Led Zeppelin Is Getting Sued Over ‘Stairway to Heaven’

But what if those opening notes weren’t actually written by Jimmy Page or any member of Led Zeppelin? What if the foundation of the band’s immortality had been lifted from another song by a relatively forgotten California band?

You’d need to rewrite the history of rock ’n’ roll.


Yes, yes… biggest sham of the entire history… Regardless my lack of faith to rumours, and what is yet to come out of that courtroom (Led Zeppelin Is Getting Sued Over ‘Stairway to Heaven’). Over the course of their career, Zeppelin has proven the breadth of their creativity with exceptional work.

This will register a blind statement, but I raise and eyebrow to the genuineness of claims made after 50 years.