One Billion People Now Use WhatsApp

WhatsApp reports in a blog post that their messaging app has now reached one billion active users as of February 1, 2016. As the post puts is, “That’s nearly one in seven people on Earth who use WhatsApp each month…” The scope of its reach is pretty impressive. Daily, its users exchange 42 billion messages, 1.6 billion photos, and 250 million videos in over 53 different languages. A one-billion user based  makes WhatsApp the second most popular application after Facebook if you don’t count the Google apps that are usually bundled with Android devices.

Founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton, both ex-Yahoo engineers, WhatsApp was born in Silicon Valley. Two years ago, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion dollars. Even though it is not that popular in the US, WhatsApp has gained solid traction across Europe, South America, Africa, and India. It enabled users, especially those from developing countries, to send and receive text messages, pictures, and videos without paying the expensive broadband fees of mobile service providers. Recently, the app has also gained voice-call functionality, which is likely to evolve into video-calling in the near future.

The company is focused on finding a way to earn revenue from the service. Two weeks ago, they announced that they will discontinue their $1-a-year subscription fee and instead will turn their attention to earning money from businesses that use WhatsApp to communicate with their customers.

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