After Facebook bought messaging service WhatsApp in 2014 it has gone from strength to strength, now having achieved 700 million active users.
There are few smartphone users who haven’t heard of messaging service WhatsApp. As tariffs threaten to deplete your bank balance to pay for texts and calls, apps like WhatsApp, Kik and even Skype have proved to be popular free alternatives to communicating with friends and family via your mobile network operator.
And that’s exactly why WhatsApp was snapped up by Facebook in February, 2014 for the cool price of $19 billion. At the time, plenty thought that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had lost his mind as although the service was on the rise, the fact that it was free for most people (although you have to pay an annual $0.99 subscription to continue using the service for more than a year) led many people to think that the Facebook money man would never get a return on his investment.
WhatsApp is doing its bit to prove those doubters wrong though, as after hitting 600 million active users in August, 2014, the service has now blitzed past that figure and now sits at 700 million active users as of January 6, 2015. That, fact fans, is over half as many users as Facebook.
And that’s not the only metric that WhatsApp has to be proud of either. Users also send 30 billion messages daily, which equates to over four messages sent per person on the planet. More than looking good in a headline, that figure means that people are using the service regular and are incredibly likely to pay for that minimal $0.99 subscription once their free trial year is up.
Even more impressive are analysts predictions that WhatsApp will be able to reveal even better data at the end of the year. In China, India and South Africa smartphone sales are massively increasing due to their low cost and with WhatsApp also allowing users to keep the costs down in terms of messaging it means the service could increase its user base in these particular countries. Co-founder of WhatsApp Jan Koum also said this in a post on Facebook:
“As humbled and excited as we are by these numbers and our continued growth, we’re even more excited to keep building a great product in 2015. Most of all, we’re grateful that so many of you are using WhatsApp to stay in touch with your friends and family, business colleagues and classmates. We promise to continue working hard to make WhatsApp even better.”
It’s unclear just how Koum and co. will be making WhatsApp better but we’ll keep you posted once we know more.