Shalom Life | May 31, 2014

WhatsApp Hits 500 Million Active Users

The messaging service owned by Facebook and led by CEO Jan Koum continues to grow exponentially, particularly in underdeveloped countries

By: Daniel Koren

Published: April 22nd, 2014 in Business » World

And you wondered why Mark Zuckerberg dished out $19 billion in stocks, cash and shares to buy WhatsApp.

In the mere few months since the announcement (the FTC just approved the sale earlier this month, and is awaiting the approval of international regulators), one of the largest in the hightech industry over the last decade, WhatsApp's numbers have continued to improve, making records after hitting 64 billion messages in a single day, and adding new features, like calling options, which they announced back in February.

During the initial purchase of the company, Zuckerberg had said he and Facebook believe that they will hit one billion users, numbers that are seldom seen with social platforms, unless, of course, you're Facebook.

Or Twitter.

Now, it seems Zucks' goal is halfway near fruition, with WhatsApp announcing that they've reached the 500 million active user milestone. To measure the impact of Facebook buying them, I refer you to the following fact: they were at 100 million active users in December, 2013, not even five months ago.

The company also revealed, via a blog post, that its users are sharing over 700 million photos, and 100 million videos, daily.

“On one hand, we were kind of expecting it,” WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said during an interview with TIME. “We got to 200 million users, 300 million users, 400 million users. It was going to happen sooner or later. But we think it’s an exciting number to share with the world and a good milestone to acknowledge what’s all been organic growth.”

Koum attributes his company's success to their growth in companies where Internet is not as mainstream, like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, countries that all have huge populations and are better connected through platforms such as WhatsApp. “People who never used computers, never used laptops, never used the Internet are signing up," said Koum.

“We could go on, but for now, it’s more important that we get back to work – because here at WhatsApp, we’re just getting started,” he added.

Appears so.

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