WhatsApp is now available on more feature phones, courtesy of a partnership between parent company Facebook and KaiOS Technologies.
The app was initially made available to users of the KaiOS-powered JioPhone in India in September 2018, but is now broadly available for download through the KaiStore on devices with 256MB or 512MB of RAM. Starting in Q3, WhatsApp will be preinstalled on “most” phones powered by KaiOS.
In a press release, the pair noted KaiOS compatibility will help WhatsApp reach “millions of new users across Africa, Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, Latin America and beyond,” adding to the app’s existing user base of more than 1.5 billion.
This isn’t Facebook’s first collaboration with KaiOS: the company’s namesake app is already available on KaiOS devices across India, Africa, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
But Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies, noted in a statement the move extends another “important means of communication to a brand new demographic,” adding it will allow “the next billion users to connect in meaningful ways with their loved ones, communities and others across the globe.”
In May, Codeville detailed plans to aggressively expand KaiOS’ presence across the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, with the goal of boosting its user base from 100 million to 150 million by the end of 2019.