August 28, 2014

WhatsApp Messaging Service Reaches 400 Million Active Users

WhatsApp for AndroidEdit

If you need an inexpensive way to keep in touch with partners, clients or anyone else in your professional life, consider this. One of the largest (and cheapest) messaging services in the world may be an option.

One messaging app, SnapChat, experiences a set-back with hackers posting names and phone numbers of 4.6 million users. But another, WhatsApp, claims to have reached a dizzying milestone: 400 million users a month.

In a recent post on the official WhatsApp blog, co-founder and CEO Jan Koum explained what he believes is the reason for the app’s success.

We bet that if our team of engineers could make messaging fast, simple, and personal, we could charge people directly for the service without having to rely on annoying banner ads, game promotions, or all those other distracting “features” that come with many messaging apps.

Instead of allowing any kind of advertising, WhatsApp charges a small fee: It’s actually free the first year and then $.99 every year after that. This still makes WhatsAppp more affordable than most other instant messaging services. The app is available for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry.

Take a look at this report from CCTV America about the app’s sweeping popularity. (And also take note of a reported $1 billion offer from Google to buy the service a few months ago. It’s an offer WhatsApp apparently rejected.)

The service could also be considered a form of social media, since users can share text messages, photos, video or audio with their entire list of contacts. (This is roughly similar to sharing content with followers or friends on Twitter or Facebook.)

However, like SnapChat and other similar messaging apps, it is also much easier (in theory) to share messages only with individual or a select few contacts.

WhatsApp is also among the messaging apps which some experts say may be siphoning off younger users from social sites like Facebook.

In fact, about 78 percent of teenagers and young people now prefer messaging apps to social media when communicating with their friends, The Guardian reports. This may be an important trend if your company is targeting younger customers.

Image: WhatsApp.com

7 Comments ▼

Joshua Sophy - Staff Writer


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering technology and business news. He is a journalist and editor with 15 years experience in media. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Joshua also serves as President of the Board of Directors of a curling club and is editor of a regional newsletter focused on the sport of curling in the Eastern U.S.

7 Reactions

  1. I have not really been a fan of WhatsApp just because it can somehow slow down the Internet especially when I am in a middle of a video game. But I know how valuable of a communication tool it is. This is why I think that it is not really that surprising that it got a lot of users over time.

  2. The application whatsapp get that number of users because it deserves it, always use whatsapp and saving me spend on text messages: D

  3. I tried whatsapp before but I did not like the overall application. It may be good for others though. But for me, I currently use Viber or WeChat for messaging or chatting with friends.

  4. I used Whatsapp extensively especially during my holidays overseas recently and chatted with my spouse; pictures and videos can also be sent.

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