Complex Made Simple

American University in Dubai hosts Co-Founder and CEO of WhatsApp

The Mohammed Bin Rashid School For Communication (MBRSC) of the American University in Dubai (AUD) welcomed Mr. Jan Koum, Co-Founder and CEO of WhatApp, as a guest speaker during the School’s interactive ‘Media Chat’ session, which focused on how ideas can be turned into multi-million dollars businesses.

The talk was attended by Dr. Lance de Masi, President of AUD, Mr. Elias Bou Saab, Executive Vice President of AUD, Mr. Ali Jaber, Dean of MBRSC, Mr. Osman Sultan, CEO of du Telecom and member of the MBRSC Advisory Board, Mr. Neeraj Arora, Head of Business Development at WhatsApp, in addition to a large number of students, AUD Faculty and Staff members.

During the session, Mr. Koum talked about how he and his colleague Brian Acton came up with the concept of building a business based on the idea of connecting people from all over the world through mobile messaging. He proceeded to explain that innovation, sustainability and the consistency of his application were the keys of their business’ success, and announced that WhatsApp had now over 350 million active users. When the students asked him if WhatsApp will be featuring advertising like many other applications in order to increase its profit, Koum assured them that the company would never add such features, keeping with his now renowned rejection of turning the application into a broader platform, which can be read on their blog.

The interactive chat and Koum’s engaging discussion encouraged the AUD community to ask him various questions related to the applications’ features, technicality, the company’s challenges within the current competitive market, the company’s future plans, spam, privacy, innovation, and business growth.

The Media Chat Series, held on a regular basis for the past two years at AUD, host distinguished media specialists, renowned producers, journalists and broadcasters; an initiative considered among one of the most important activities organized by the School for Communication, as they aim at benefiting students with the knowledge and expertise of media professionals.

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app, which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other! Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends. In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.