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You Can Now Use WhatsApp on Desktop... Only if You're on Google Chrome

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Facebook-owned WhatsApp has launched WhatsApp Web, a client that brings the company's services to desktop computers.

WhatsApp Web is a mirror of the messages and conversations that WhatsApp users have on their mobile phones, and it can be accessed through scanning a QR code with the user's smartphone.

There are, however, several limitations to WhatsApp Web, the biggest of which is probably the fact that the client does not currently support iOS devices. WhatsApp Web can be accessed through Android, Windows Phone, Nokia S60 and BlackBerry, but not iOS devices.

The reason for the absence of compatibility with iOS devices is because of platform limitations set by Apple, according to the blog post by WhatsApp announcing the launch of the client. The company, however, is planning to launch a version for iOS users, but no timeframe has been released for it.

To access the service, users will need to have WhatsApp's latest version installed on their smartphones. Users will also be required to visit the WhatsApp website through Google's Chrome browser.

Users have to scan a QR code to enter WhatsApp Web because the service uses SMS and phone numbers to verify its users, as opposed to using the traditional way of requiring usernames and passwords. WhatsApp Web, once launched, will only operate while the user's smartphone remains turned on. Once the smartphone is turned off, the session on WhatsApp Web also ends.

Earlier this week, WhatsApp Plus, a third-party app developed off of the original service, was shut down after WhatsApp sent it a cease-and-desist order. WhatsApp also decided to temporarily ban the users that downloaded and used WhatsApp Plus, which allowed users to modify the background images and colors of the app for conversations. WhatsApp Plus also gave users the ability to prevent other users from seeing if their messages have already been read. Larger limits in the file size of video and audio files were also offered.

"Our goal is always to keep WhatsApp fast and secure for the people who use it - it's the most important thing we do," said a spokesman for WhatsApp.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp revealed that it has reached new levels of popularity by reaching the milestone of having 700 million active monthly users. The figure was a huge jump, as the service only had 600 million active monthly users in August of last year.

The milestone was revealed by WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum through a post on Facebook, adding that the app's users send out a total of 30 billion messages per day.

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