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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WhatsApp hits the billion-user mark

Mobile messaging app WhatsApp on Tuesday said that it has crossed the billion user milestone globally, with an addition of 100 million users in the last five months.

“As of today, one billion people are using WhatsApp. That’s nearly one in seven people on earth who use WhatsApp each month to stay in touch with their loved ones, friends, and family,” WhatsApp said in a blogpost.

“In India, more photos are sent using WhatsApp than in any other country in the world. As one of WhatsApp’s largest countries, it’s not surprising that the second-highest number of groups is here,” the company said.

WhatsApp competes with messaging apps like LINE, Viber and Hike in India.

In February 2014, WhatsApp was acquired by social networking site Facebook for a whopping $19 billion, the social media platform’s biggest buyout till date.

In a post on Facebook, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum said 42 billion messages were sent, 1.6 billion photos and 250 million videos shared every day on the platform., and there were one billion groups on WhatsApp. Recently, the company stopped charging $1 per year subscription fee and is now completely free for its users across the world. It also said it would not introduce any third-party ads for monetisation and is going to experiment with new models to stay ad-free.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg congratulated Mr Koum and his team. “WhatsApp’s community has more than doubled since joining Facebook. We’ve added the ability for you to call loved ones far away. We’ve dropped the subscription fee and made WhatsApp completely free. Next, we’re going to work to connect more people around the world and make it easier to communicate with businesses,” he said. Mr Zuckerberg said there are only a few services that connect more than a billion people and this milestone is an important step towards connecting the entire world.


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