It was only a matter of time — WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging service has hit the 1 billion monthly active user mark.
At the rate it has been growing, I honestly expected this to happen sooner. Especially considering that WhatsApp hit the 900 million mark over 5 months ago. Nevertheless, 1 billion monthly active users (with emphasis on active) is no small feat. At an estimated world population of 7 billion, that amounts to one in every 7 people on earth using WhatsApp every month.
Not many online services in the world have achieved the 1 billion active user mark. Especially not in the mere 7 years it took WhatsApp to do it. WhatsApp owes a lot of its relatively quick success to the fact that it went largely multi-platform early on. From iPhone-totting premium users to bottom-of-the-pyramid featurephone users, WhatsApp had them all covered.
According to WhatsApp CEO, Jan Koum, the service has seen 42 billion messages sent through it daily, 1.6 billion photos shared, 1 billion groups organized through it, and 250 million videos shared.
Mark Zuckerberg is probably the most delighted about the news. In 2014, his company, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $16 billion, which was generally considered at the time to be a gross over-valuation of a simple messaging service. WhatsApp had only about 450 million monthly active users at the time. That figure has more than doubled in the space of less than 2 years. For perspective, Facebook itself has 1.5 monthly active users.
In other related news, Gmail also just recently hit 1 billion monthly active users but unlike WhatsApp, it took a little longer to get there — an additional 5 years (launched in 2004). Perhaps this is the biggest testament to how much bigger and faster instant messaging has grown compared to email.
On January 27, 2021, Techpoint Africa will be hosting the brightest minds in decentralised finance/crypto at the Digital Currency Summit tagged “Building the money of the future” Click here for more details, registration and sponsorship.
Report: Millionaire West African startups” raised over $1.806 billion between 2010 and 2019, 97.9% of which went to Nigerian startups. Get a free overview and 50% purchase discount here.
Listen to Built in Africa, a podcast by Techpoint Africa