WhatsApp crosses the 500 million active user mark

Daniel Bader

April 22, 2014 6:49 pm

On a personal note, Brian and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a small team of people who, in just under five years, built a communication service that now supports over 450 million monthly active users worldwide and over 320 million daily active users.”

Jan Koum, WhatsApp’s co-founder, wrote those words on the day Facebook announced it was buying the messaging startup for an astounding $19 billion.

Today, the company announced that it has crossed the 500 million active monthly user mark, who together share over 700 million photos and 100 million videos daily.

WhatsApp’s growth, slow in North America, is coming from regions like Brazil, India and Russia, according to the company. The simplicity of the app, coupled with the company’s aggressive tactics to have it pre-installed on many carrier-sold Android devices in Europe and Asia, means that the Facebook-owned entity has a significant geographic advantage over regional offerings like KakaoTalk, Line, WeChat and others.

The next step for WhatsApp is VoIP call integration, a natural evolution of the voice messaging feature it added last year.

SourceRe/code

  • JB

    Weird. All my friends have moved over to BBM exclusively….. Different strokes for different folks I guess…….But personally I would never use that app as its not secure, and facebook owns it now(which is one of the main reasons we all switched)

    • gtasscarlo

      I have BBM but I just end up texting friends since I have mms. The only use for BBM is international text only.

    • MXH070

      Also international video and voice calling to another BlackBerry only voice calling to android and iOS devices for the time being.

    • rd0t

      Still don’t understand why people use Whatsapp. It’s so bland and offers no stand out features that other cross platform messaging apps provide. BBM is superior in every way.

    • one5

      Thank you.

    • Chuck

      Same here. BBM Is faster, smoother, more full-featured and much more active. I tried WhatsApp but found it to be a ghost town so deleted it. I’m probably counted as an active user though.

  • MXH070

    I’m betting they are counting every single contact in a subscribers address book as a active users. whatsapp downloads all contact phones numbers in the address book to the whatsapp data center once whatsapp is installed. Posting user base numbers like Samsung states sales by the number of phones shipped as sold.

    • ToniCipriani

      You got it backwards. You register, phonebook stays on the phone and you poll the status of the contacts. I know because I have a custom unofficial webOS phone, all it does is polling.

      Would’ve showed you the code but it had to go closed source because WhatsApp was trying to shut it down. Search for WhatsAPI.

    • MXH070

      Whatsapp copies all your contacts phone numbers in your address book once installed then uploads them to the whatsapp server which scans all the numbers to see who has a whatsapp account from those numbers. The numbers uploaded don’t get deleted after the scan they are just saved and stored away. So I’m guessing they are counting those ph# numbers as well as active users not daily active users.

  • Robbie

    All of the above reasons not to use it, plus now you have to pay for it. So many other apps offer the same resources (or better) for free.

  • Ryan Laker

    The only time I got any real use out of WhatsApp was when I had a multi-month group project and we wanted a mobile group messaging app. It worked great for that.

  • Matt

    I prefer BBM cause get to keep my cell number private and BBM you only need to provide a BBM pin, And easier to delete contacts that bother you, than changing your cell number completely to ignore bothersome contacts.

    • Matt

      And plus BBM is free. Whatsapp you have to pay to use it. And its less secure. BBM is under Blackberry secure network. And I really dislike Facebook refuse to use that website cause of really bad privacy policies, that facebook can sell all your online facebook pictures and info to other companies, such as porn sites etc. I don’t want my under age family members pictures ending up being sold from facebook to porn sites, like they did with the facebook pictures of the under age girl that committed suicide cause of online bullying. And so facebook bought whatsapp so no thank you facebook, don’t want you to collect and save my contacts in my phone and messaging info and selling it to other companies like telemarketing companies etc. And also passing my info and messaging messages to NSA

    • Zee

      Facebook sold underage pictures to porn site? You make up stories much?

  • Andrew English

    I bet WhatsApp is including the number of people who have subscribed to their app once upon a time but never use it. It’s just like how Microsoft used to include the number of pirated version of Windows in their total number of Windows OS machines out there. I would love to see the total number of active users. BlackBerry on the other hand numbers are acurate as they can only see the total number of active users on BBM. BBM is far better than WhatsApp. My friends who used to have WhatsApp are all using BBM now that its cross platform.

  • Zee

    Yeah ok. Only you heard this news.

  • Zee

    Facebook didn’t “sell” her pictures, people just copied her pics. Try getting the facts right before you start spreading BS.

  • Zee

    No they didn’t, they’re charging a Dutch man, again you’re making up stories.

  • Matt

    And it says right in facebooks privacy policy that when you sign up you agree that Facebook has the right to sell your pictures and info to third party companies. Which is a huge privacy issue with Facebook. People have no idea where their pictures end up going. And how much money Facebook makes from selling users pictures.

  • Zee

    You’re the type of person that would contradict anything. “This grass is green” — “no it isn’t, it’s red”. If such a ludicrous story about Facebook selling pictures to a PORN SITE where a person committed suicide had any shred of credibility, it would ruin Facebook as a company and would be major news story around the world. You’re not fooling anybody.

  • Zee

    You’re incredible lol. This conversation is going in circles. Either you really believe what you say, or you just hate Facebook and try to discredit it anyway you can. Either way you’re wrong.

  • J-Ro

    I read somewhere that they have a text based service for non-smartphone users. I think that is where they get all these numbers from. If you have options Whatsapp should be one of the last. It feels very old school for something so new.

  • WiZZLa

    Still not worth $19 billion US.