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This article was published on May 3, 2016

WhatsApp is reportedly working on a desktop client but would you even use it?

WhatsApp is reportedly working on a desktop client but would you even use it?
Ben Woods
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Ben Woods

Europe Editor

Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.

Rumors abound that WhatsApp is hard at work on a native desktop client for Mac and Windows operating systems in a bid to further expand its already ridiculously popular messaging service.

According to images tweeted by WABetaInfo, the project is looking for translations for specific phrases in the documentation, including what looks like confirmation of multiple clients being developed for the desktop.

Of course, as is always the case with leaked information that the company is unwilling to verify (we’ve asked but not had a response yet), there’s no guarantee that it’s accurate, or if it is, that a desktop app will roll out to you any time soon.

But would you even want it to? Is WhatsApp on the desktop as important for users as it is for the company’s long-term growth? Not to me.

There’s already a simple way to send and receive WhatsApp messages and images via a browser.

Admittedly, a full desktop client would introduce the potential for voice or video calls, which fits with other recent suggestions of the impending launch of a voicemail service.

Beyond that, as things stand right now, having a desktop client would simply remove the need top keep a browser open or to scan the WhatsApp Web QR code to connect your account to your browser.

The move would, however, make it a more viable alternative to services like Slack, Messenger or Skype for non-text communication.

If the move inside businesses and into the enterprise is an ambition that WhatsApp hopes to begin to fulfil, it’s going to take a whole lot more than a desktop app to do achieve. It’s also unclear exactly how WhatsApp fits in with Facebook’s longer-range plans for Messenger as a platform and Facebook at Work.

So, would you really want a native desktop app for WhatsApp?

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