Whether you are in the market for a nicely fattened goat from the United Arab Emirates or freshly caught fish in the port of Mangalore in India, you can place your order on WhatsApp. The ping! ping! ping! of WhatsApp messages arriving on a smartphone has become the soundtrack of business in many emerging markets, as companies bypass phone calls and email to communicate with their customers. Governments have also turned to the app, using it to interact with citizens and appeal to voters.
I worked with foreign correspondents around the world to explore how WhatsApp is being used by businesses - and hunt for clues about how the app could make money in the future. Read the rest here on FT.com.
When Google purchased YouTube for $1.65bn a decade ago, the deal for the then one-year-old video-sharing site was described by dotcom veteran entrepreneur Mark Cuban as moronic. Today, “prophetic” seems a better description: 400 hours of video a minute are uploaded to the site, which is watched by more than 1bn people, or a third of the world’s online population.
I interviewed YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki for the FT's most famous interview slot, the Lunch with the FT. It was a joy to write such a long piece looking at her character, history and the future of online video.
With a tentative wobble, a young woman in a sari is trying out her new bicycle for the first time, cycling around a sandy courtyard in Ambaji, a small town in Gujarat, north-west India. The bicycle is blue and sturdy, with wide tyres to help it withstand bumpy terrain. On the back is a box that holds precious cargo: not pizza, or post, but the internet.
Read the rest of my FT Magazine story on the quest to win over a billion users amid accusations of digital colonialism on FT.com.