WhatsApp exceeds half a billion users worldwide

The WhatsApp online messaging service is getting bigger and bigger and today, the company announced that it now has 500 million users worldwide. That's not bad considering that the first app for the service launched in 2009.

That massive number, by the way, is for active users, not just those who registered for WhatsApp. In a blog post today, the company said, "In the last few months, we’ve grown fastest in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, and our users are also sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day."

In a chat with TIME, WhatsApp CEO and co-founder Jan Koum noted that growth is expected to continue, saying, "We’re pretty confident that eventually we will reach a tipping point in the U.S. as well. Russia only tipped in the last six months. A switch flipped, and we took off."

At the moment, WhatsApp is in the middle of being acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in cash and stock. That deal is expected to close sometime later in the second quarter of 2014. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already predicted WhatsApp could grow to as many as 1 billion active users.

Source: Whatsapp via TIME | WhatsApp image via Shutterstock

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Rumors about Intel's plans for Thunderbolt 3 pop up, 40Gbps speeds

Next Story

Twitter finally rolls out profile redesign and a new "highlighted tweet" feature

25 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

trojan_market said,
have no idea what they do better than others achieving this amount of users. as for me I prefer Viber because of voice support.

Nothing really, it was just lucky to gain traction until they achieved the "but all my friends are using that" anti-migration effect.

As stupid as it might sound, one of the keys of their success was promoting the app as nothing more than a free alternative to SMS.

ichi said,

one of the keys of their success was promoting the app as nothing more than a free alternative to SMS.

excpet it is not free, they charge you annually.

trojan_market said,

excpet it is not free, they charge you annually.

Yes but you aren't charged at least until a year after you have adopted the platform, and they aren't even consistent at that. They have been extending the free license for some people as they saw fit to keep the adoption going.

I've been using WhatsApp for years and only paid once, some people have never paid, others have paid several times already.

Anyway, the point is that at worst you'd be paying a cheap fixed annual fee instead of per message. That's obviously only enticing in countries where you don't have flat SMS rates (and hence why WhatsApp is not all that popular in the US).

My problem is that there's no desktop client for it. I prefer to text with a full keyboard whenever I can. I prefer Google Voice and Facebook Messenger over this.

By "Users" is that "Users" or "People who signed up once, used for a few days, then went back to SMS"?

Neowin could say it has 317,690 "Users" but let's face it, half of those won't be active/have not been active in the last 6/12 months.

Sir Topham Hatt said,
By "Users" is that "Users" or "People who signed up once, used for a few days, then went back to SMS"?

Neowin could say it has 317,690 "Users" but let's face it, half of those won't be active/have not been active in the last 6/12 months.

If we are to trust the article, it clearly states "That massive number, by the way, is for active users, not just those who registered for WhatsApp".

I'm one of the 500 million active users.. I open the app every few days for shits and giggles. No messages are ever exchanged. I wonder what percent of the 500 million are exactly like me..

whatsapp rules them all, best looking app on all platforms not because it looks unified but bc it looks native

I use Viber with my wife, but had to install this to communicate with a friend who was visiting.
These messaging apps are all pretty much the same. I think there are too many of them.

Shiranui said,
I use Viber with my wife, but had to install this to communicate with a friend who was visiting.
These messaging apps are all pretty much the same. I think there are too many of them.

viber sends you messages about stickers every few days and happy easter, happy this, happy that. It has become spamware now.

I switched to Telegram now, no such sticker spam anymore :) It is only ~9.6mb too, viber is over 20mb which is important for people like me with old android devices with little space.

I like a lot WhatsApp. The only complaint I have is that I can't tell quickly groups and individual chats. It becomes very cumbersome when you have 10+ chat groups and several individual chats in-between.