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WhatsApp Reaches 900 Million Users

It's been a year, and a rather turbulent one, since WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook. The message service has only gotten more popular, even amidst threats of a UK ban following the May general election (which now, happily, looks extremely unlikely). As of the end of last week, it's hit a rather astounding milestone - 900 million monthly active users. Founder Jan Korum posted an understated Facebook update about it last Friday, although he was probably ecstatic about it in real world terms.

WhatsApp now has 900 million monthly active users.
Posted by Jan Koum on Thursday, 3 September 2015

That figure places it ahead of even the Chinese WeChat, which purports to have 600 million MAUs, although it boasts a staggering 1.1 billion registered accounts. What's even more impressive with WhatsApp is the relative rate of growth, since the counter was sitting at 800 million back in April, which if you do some maths, means that the MAU rate has been climbing at an average of 641,025 people per day since then. What.

At this rate, WhatsApp could quite easily hit the billion MAU mark by the end of the year, which will mean that Facebook has yet another record breaking number under its belt. A huge factor in its popularity is that it's almost completely free (there's a $0.99/£0.69 fee after a year for a lifetime subscription) and is pretty much devoid of advertising, although as was recently discovered, you can still get spammed.

The amount of capital that the developers could rake in if they ever tried to monetise it further doesn't even bear thinking about, but the partnership with Facebook pretty much ensures that money is basically never going to be an issue for them. It also doesn't hurt that the most direct competitor to WhatsApp - Messenger, is an embedded Facebook service, so neither one will ever tread on the other's toes.

WhatsApp seems to have a great deal of value in the business market, simply because it's easy to group contacts together into conference chats when necessary and doesn't require internet to work, just 3G (it does function without that, but at a pace that will turn your pupils grey). It's almost reaching the stage where WhatsApp is legitimately more prevalent than texting, with minimum 3G coverage becoming so much more wide.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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WhatsApp Reaches 900 Million Users Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, September 09, 2015 Rating: 5

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