The popular mobile messaging service, WhatsApp, today announced that it has crossed 500 million monthly active users.
The service was founded in June 2009 by two former Yahoo employees – Jan Koum and Brian Acton – and is now used to send more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day. Earlier this month, WhatsApp announced it was processing 64 billion messages every day with Brazil, India, Russia, and Mexico as its fastest growing markets.
With 48 million monthly active users, India is the largest market for WhatsApp where it competes with WeChat, LINE, and Hike, none of which share monthly active users in India. WhatsApp had recently inked partnerships with several telecom service providers in India for brand awareness and driving adoption.
Launched as an alternative to SMS, the data-based messaging service saw early popularity and in October 2011, the number of messages sent through the app touched a billion messages per day mark, and in less than a year that number shot up to 10 billion messages sent per day in the following year.
In June 2013, WhatsApp announced that it had reached 250 million monthly active users, which was surprisingly more than even Twitter. WhatsApp grew despite competition from closed services like iMessage and BlackBerry Messenger and third-party messaging services like Kik, Nimbuzz, WeChat, LINE etc.
Earlier this year, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a staggering $19 billion to get a leeway on its huge user base. At the Mobile World Congress 2014, Jan Koum announced that they will bring voice-messaging service to the product very soon that, to compete with service like Skype and VIber.