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As that friend in the social circle who has, over the years, notoriously been known for begging friends to join up with the latest social network or subscribe to new Internet services, I just knew from the get-go that the whole recruitment thing wouldn’t go so well for me. However, obviously, the same thing might not be said for everyone. In a time when the vast majority of people seem to be closely watching their spending, this might be a really easy money-saving solution for people to grab onto. You never know, a little badgering could go a long way.

On a similar note, though, because this app works and feels just like a lot of the existing standard messaging services, I think most people might be better off beating the system by downloading apps that allow users to log in to their old standby AIM, MSN or Yahoo! Messenger accounts. These are popular services that most people probably already have. This would save you the trouble of bugging all of your contacts to join another service.

To get started with WhatsApp, you have to set up the application by verifying your identity. What’s nice is that the app actually walks you through it, and it’s a very quick process. WhatsApp will send you a code via standard text message, and you just have to enter it on the set-up screen. The app will then skim through your list of contacts to see if anyone else you know also has WhatsApp.

A few of my friends had the service, so I shot them some messages to get a feel for what the app was like. Overall, WhatsApp looked and felt just like standard instant-messaging services like AIM and MSN, from the layout and design to the fact that the messages were received by both parties in a timely manner.

One feature I especially like about this app that you can’t get from standard SMS, was that I could create a status/away type message to let my friends know when I was and was not available.

If you can convince your friends to download WhatsApp, it might be worth it. This app works well, and it might save you some money.