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1 Billion: WhatsApp Is Now Used by 1 in 7 People Worldwide

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WhatsApp has passed the milestone of 1 billion monthly active users, according to Jan Koum, the head of the Facebook-owned messaging service. Even though it’s not the first social network to achieve this feat, WhatsApp is now used by 1 in 7 people worldwide.

WhatsApp’s growth recently took an impressive turn; it was only 5 months ago that the company revealed it had 900 million monthly active users. On this occasion, Koum also revealed some data about the service.

More than 42 billion messages are being sent and received through WhatsApp on a daily basis, 1.6 billion photos are shared, roughly 1 billion groups are organized through it, and 250 million videos are shared with friends and loved ones.

With this milestone, WhatsApp has taken its rightful place among a growing number of Facebook-owned apps that have such an enormous reach. According to recent reports, the social network’s core app has already passed the mark of 1.5 billion active users monthly.

At the same time, Facebook Messenger is not far behind, expected to soon join the two other services in the billion-user selective club. Question is: are Instagram and even Oculus showing signs of catching up as well?

WhatsApp had its break when Facebook acquired the messaging service in 2014, paying more than $16 billion for the app. Back then, it boasted 450 million monthly active users – which wasn’t too shabby either – but under Facebook’s leadership, that number has more than doubled.

The news follows Facebook’s report of its earnings for the 4th quarter of the fiscal year 2015, and after the announcement of dropping its $1 annual subscription fee. Instead of charging everyone, WhatsApp decided to start making some money by charging businesses instead.

According to Koum, the $1 fee just “doesn’t work for some people.” The company is still considering ideas on how the service can be monetized, but it seems that it will involve customer support, similar to Facebook’s plans for the Messenger app.

At the Q4 2015 earnings call last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that WhatsApp’s latest initiatives represent an “important step towards creating and even more ubiquitous product without affecting our plans for building WhatsApp into important business in the coming years.”

Zuckerberg also announced some new updates reaching the public later this year, especially in the way people use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations.

So now that the service is free of any charge, does this mean we will see even a faster growth for the messaging app – is it going to surpass the milestone of 1.5 billion MAU in the next couple of months?
Image Source: The Next Web

About Ariana Whitmore

She has been writing columns on consumer gadgets since 2010. Her areas of interests include smartphones, tablets, mobile OS and apps. She holds M.C.S. degree and working on her startup, which aims to solve IT support issues.

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