Facebook owned messaging service WhatsApp has crossed 1 billion monthly active users (MAUs), Jan Koum, cofounder and CEO of WhatsApp announced in a Facebook post. In comparison, Facebook had 1.59 billion MAUs as of 31 December 2015. Koum added that 42 billion messages were sent, along with 1.6 billion photos and 250 million videos every day. WhatsApp also has 1 billion groups on it.
WhatsApp’s latest blog post ended with, “.. We’re excited to see how far we’ve come. But now, it’s back to work – because we still have another 6 billion people to get on WhatsApp, and a long way left to go.” The messaging service now joins the slew of 1 billion users also found on Google services like Gmail, Search, Android, Maps, Chrome, YouTube and Google Play.
Steady growth in India: In September last year, WhatsApp said that it had 900 million MAUs, and that India was its largest market. In April, Koum claimed that it had hit more than 800 million MAUs, while in January last year, he said that its users were sending over 30 billion messages every day. In November 2014, WhatsApp claimed to have reached 70 million MAUs in India.
Facebook sharing, annual fees dropped: Last month, we reported that Whatsapp was looking to introduce a new feature which would share WhatsApp account information with Facebook. According to screenshots from Android developer Javier Santos, Whatsapp would share account info to “improve Facebook experiences.” In the same month, Koum said that the messaging platform was planning to drop the service’s annual subscription fees. WhatsApp is free for the first year and charges an annual fee of Rs 53 for Indian users and about 99 cents globally.
The global SMS system does around 20bn messages a day. WhatsApp is now doing 42bn. With 57 engineers. pic.twitter.com/zZrtSIzhlR
— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) February 2, 2016
Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, where WhatsApp would get $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in Facebook stocks. The agreement also provided for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that would vest over 4 years subsequent to closing.
Telegram links blocked: In December, WhatsApp started blocking links to competitor Telegram, where the URLs appeared as a normal message rather than a hyperlink. Users were also blocked from copy pasting the text, effectively treating the URL as spam.
Our WhatsApp coverage.