Welcome to the 1 billion users club, WhatsApp!


WhatsApp is now used by more than a billion monthly active users. Yes, that's not a typo, a billion with a "b", 1 followed by 9 zeros. 1 BILLION USERS. Let that sink in.

The news got broken out in an official post on WhatsApp's blog. This is undoubtedly a grand milestone for the messaging platform, which has been one of the most popular services of the type ever since its inception. It joins the ranks of other apps and platforms that already have over a billion users, like Facebook and Gmail.

To put WhatsApp's success in perspective, we can compare it with one of its better-performing rivals—Facebook Messenger—which has more than 800 million monthly active users according to data from early January 2016. Undoubtedly, the recent nixing of WhatsApp's annual $1 subscription will increase its already vast userbase, further establishing it as the poster child for messaging apps. 

Created by Jan Koum, WhatsApp saw the light of day in early 2009 quickly became one of the more popular messaging apps for mobile devices. After a lengthy courtship by Mark Zuckerberg, Jan Koum agreed to sell WhatsApp for $19.5 billion to Facebook in 2014, which was a shocking amount of money at the time, and actually, it is still capable of inducing lots of gasps. As a refresher, WhatsApp had around 400 million monthly active users when it got acquired by Zuckerberg, which means that it has more than doubled its userbase. 

Facebook's CEO was one of the first to chime in and congratulate WhatsApp on its achievement:

"One billion people now use WhatsApp.

Congrats to Jan, Brian and everyone who helped reach this milestone!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.

There are only a few services that connect more than a billion people. This milestone is an important step towards connecting the entire world."

Good job, WhatsApp! One billion users are aboard, 6.4 billion to go!

source: WhatsApp via Neowin
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