Popular cross-platform messenger WhatsApp has found a home on hundreds of millions of smartphones. Now, the global smartphone messaging service is claiming to have more than 200 million monthly users.
WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum revealed that the smartphone app is even more popular than microblogging site Twitter. It currently has over 200 million monthly active users, who send out and receive over 20 billion messages each day. WhatsApp now processes an estimated total of 12 billion outbound messages and 8 billion inbound messages on a daily basis.
Back in December, Twitter announced it had reached over 200 million monthly active users. A monumental feat, it’s impressive that WhatsApp has apparently trumped that number. While Mr. Koum didn’t offer exact figures for WhatsApp, but he did mention that since charging users 99 cents per year, usage has not dropped off.
Being installed on millions of smartphones, and available on all major platforms like iOS, Android and Windows Phone, WhatsApp has a huge opportunity to take advantage of its user base by implementing ads. But Koum said that will never happen.
“We do have a manifesto opposing advertising,” Koum said. “We’re proud of that. Who likes advertising? We’re so bombarded with ads so much in our daily lives and we felt that smartphones aren’t the place for that. Our phones are so intimately connected to us, to our lives. Putting advertising on a device like that is a bad idea. You don’t want to be interrupted by ads when you’re chatting with your loved ones.”
Koum also addressed the rumors that WhatsApp would be acquired, reiterating that the company wants to remain independent and doesn’t really think about acquisition as an exit strategy. He added that, “Our goal is to build a sustainable, independent company. We want to build a business.”
He also revealed partnerships with a number of carriers, including local data deals in India, have helped drive adoption and usage. He also revealed access to a “roaming pass” with a Hong Kong-based partner has allowed its users to use WhatsApp across Asia without extra fees.
WhatsApp is certainly one of the most popular messaging apps despite all the tough competition it faces from rivals like Facebook Messenger, KakaoTalk, Nimbuzz and others. The app recently expanded to Blackberry 10 platform.
I really hope Koum sticks to what he said and keeps ads away from the platform as they can be a big turn off. Also, I would like to see some updates in Whats App like a more simple and beautiful UI. What do you think?