Call it the major impact of’Blackberry boys’ ads, but a lot of college kids have started moving onto Blackberry devices and one of the most used feature on the device has been the BBM (our intern, Ishan swears by Blackberry and refuses to ‘grow up‘!).

WhatsApp, the BBM alternative has partnered with Reliance Communications to bring WhatsApp free to college kids. Reliance has launched a new plan – MyCollegePlan (available only on GSM)  which bundles WhatsApp and Facebook app for free (apart from regular cheap calls/SMS tariff).

This is WhatsApp’s first India partnership (correct us?) and while the country is witnessing a revolution in mobile Internet consumption, the country has also seen launch of messaging apps (right from Micromax launching HookUp to ibibo’s WeChat and Imsy).

The key question however remains whether WhatsApp will be the WhatsApp of India, or will we see growth of homegrown app developers? Given WhatsApp existing traction, this surely is the next big bet and operator partnership can potentially drive the adoption to mass market.

What’s your opinion?

Recommended Report: Smartphone Report: Women spend 4X the amount of time men spend on Instant Messaging applications.

tip/image credit.

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