WhatsApp’s architecture, purchased by Facebook for $19 billion, is renowned for its scalability and efficiency. The platform runs on an Erlang server, a language designed for highly scalable real-time systems. WhatsApp’s preference for a small, skilled team, and a simple, focused product contributes to its success.

The company uses a system of ‘sharding’ to manage user messages, splitting them across multiple servers to prevent overload. The platform’s system is designed to handle a significant surge in traffic, maintaining a steady performance even during peak times.

WhatsApp’s architecture also prioritises privacy, with messages stored on users’ phones rather than on a central server. This decentralised approach reduces the risk of large-scale data breaches.

While the system is robust, it’s not without its challenges. WhatsApp’s architecture requires constant monitoring to ensure it’s running smoothly. In addition, the platform’s rapid growth has resulted in an ongoing need to scale up its infrastructure.

Despite these challenges, WhatsApp’s architecture remains a model of efficiency and scalability, a testament to the value of a focused product and a skilled team.

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