Thursday 29 September 2016

WhatsApp reaches one billion users

Published 02/02/2016 | 09:31

Whatsapp (stock photo)
Whatsapp (stock photo)

WhatsApp has reached one billion users, making the messaging app one of the most commonly-used internet services in the world.

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It made the announcement on Monday night, and comes just five months after it said it had reached 900 million.

WhatsApp, bought by Facebook for $19bn (€17.4bn) by Facebook two years ago, recently announced that it would go free, dropping its 99 cent annual subscription charge and instead charging businesses to communicate with users.

"We are proud of this milestone, and we're humbled by the extraordinary ways all of you have used WhatsApp," the service said.

"Through all the progress we've made together over the last seven years, our mission has never changed. WhatsApp began as a simple idea: ensuring that anyone could stay in touch with family and friends anywhere on the planet, without costs or gimmicks standing in the way."

WhatsApp's founder Jan Koum joked that despite the milestone, the app had still not received a Crunchie - the startup awards given out by tech website TechCrunch.

Although it is wildly popular, WhatsApp still has some way to repay the money that Facebook spent buying the company.

Messaging apps are expected to become "platforms" for making transactions and customer support in the future, and WhatsApp's decision to drop its subscription fee is seen as a step towards this.

Telegraph.co.uk

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