We want What’s App! [API, that is]

Posted | Posted in Featured, Opinion

Faceboook flustered many in the programming community this week, by not releasing an API for its popular WhatsApp service.

Here’s a sentiment shared by many developers:

“Implementing chat features is hard, especially when it comes down to sharing pictures, sounds etc.,” London-based iOS engineer Kevin Mindeguia explained to Mashable. “It’s actually one of those features you try to avoid as a developer, because of its complexity. Having a ready-to-use API and an SDK would save us great time and money.”

Count me among the flustered flock. WhatsApp is the conduit to vast populations globally — many of whom reside in areas that are resource constrained and have been historically disconnected. A WhatsApp API would be a huge win for digital health science efforts like ours. We would immediately be able to provide remote, disconnected, medically vulnerable global populations with access to health interventions that would otherwise be inaccessible. Help us out, Facebook!