WhatsApp has been going forward in leaps and bounds with regards to user numbers – the messaging network now boasts a user base of 700 million, and apparently messages sent on the service every day total to around 30 billion. The numbers we see today in the tech world get more staggering every year, and this is no exception.
The popular app, which came out back in 2009, is most notorious for the simple and easy way it can be used on smartphones to replace SMS text messaging, offering an alternative that sends messages over the internet instead of through the usual channels. The service is currently free for the first year and then costs just one US dollar per year to use following that first year of use.
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Although reportedly investor responses were decidedly mixed with regards to the recent purchase of WhatsApp by Facebook, the social network has fostered the smaller messaging service and seems to have been able to help it attract this massive audience. However, WhatsApp themselves have retained a large part of their independence from Facebook, a contributing factor in their success.
It really has been a massive influx, with new users rising 100 million from as close back as last August, where Snapchat announced they had passed the 600 million user mark. The previous April, the app had only 500 million users.
Facebook may have had a hand in the promotion of WhatsApp, and its current success, following the purchase of the company by Facebook in the February of last year for a large $16 billion price tag. The social networking giant added WhatsApp to its numerous and incredibly popular social networking sites and apps, such as Instagram and Facebook messenger to name but a few.
Facebook itself commands 1.3 billion users, and whilst 700 million more are on WhatsApp, the figure of which users use both platforms remains sadly elusive, as a unifying identifier for users across platforms is neither safe or practical to produce.
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With a growth rate so huge and a user base so massive it’s a surprise that WhatsApp hasn’t monetized their service beyond the previously mentioned one dollar per year model – the app’s owners haven’t expressed any interest in doing so. However, if half of the users of the app pay their yearly dollar, the company gets 350 million dollars. Insanity.
Based on that assumption it’s safe to say that WhatsApp will remain on their current pay structure for a while longer, and users will be able to reap the benefits of using an app with such a large user base, for a very small price.