WhatsApp Now Has 500M Users

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By Naveena Joy | April 24, 2014 10:56 PM EST

Early this year, WhatsApp came in the news when Facebook, the most popular social networking site, bought it for $19 billion, making it the firm's biggest purchase.

Currently, WhatsApp has confirmed it is moving at an astounding pace crossing 500 million users worldwide and more than 700 million pictures and 100 million videos being shared over the platform daily.

"Thanks to all of you, half a billion people around the world are now regular, active WhatsApp users," WhatsApp noted in a post on the official blog.

"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. We could go on, but for now, it's more important that we get back to work - because here at WhatsApp, we're just getting started."

It hasn't always been smooth with WhatsApp since Facebook's purchase. It has encountered a few outage, including a three and half-hour outage in February and early April. 

WhatsApp called some issues "overstated" when there was another gremlin on an Android vulnerability that allowed hackers to nab users. Meanwhile, the service fought back and announced record figures of handling 64 billion messages in a 24-hour period.

CEO Jan Koum struck his rivals like Line and Kakao Talk, seeing these apps as "bloated" and adding games, shopping, music and other features to their core messaging functions making it congested.

WhatsApp has focussed on text, photos and videos. Koum also hinted the service plans to add the voice calling app this summer.

Statistics said WhatsApp has been driven by startling growth since April 2013. The company had more than 200 million active users, reaching this number in June 2013, and later became 300 million in August.

By December 2013, WhatsApp had 400 million active users. Four months after, it has 500 million users processing 20 billion inbound and 44 billion outbound messages each day.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressed, " WhatsApp is the only widely used app we've ever seen that have more engagement in a higher percent of people using it daily than Facebook itself. Internet services that reach a billion people are all incredibly valuable, and we believe WhatsApp will be as well."

It took 5 years for WhatsApp to reach at this stage after its launch in 2009. Similarly, Facebook took 6 years to cross the 500 million mark since it got introduced in 2004.

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