WhatsApp is a mobile chat messaging system available for mobile devices, which was launched for the first time in 2007. It is now owned by Facebook and has grown into 1 billion user mark, surpassing other mobile chat messaging systems available in the market today, such as QQ Messenger, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, LINE, and others. It means that with the current number of users, it can be said that WhatsApp is the most popular mobile chat messaging system in the world.
Jan Koum, the co-founder of WhatsApp, announced that the chat messaging system has reached the one billion user mark in the annual technology conference held in Munich on January 18. At relatively the same time, Gmail, through its chief executive Sundar Pichai, announced that the free email service has reached the same 1 billion user mark in the last quarter.
When we take a look at both announcements, it is clear that WhatsApp has faster user growth than Gmail, since the free email service was launched much earlier. The popularity of mobile chat messaging systems have been increasing due to the increase of smartphone users in recent years. With this trend, it would be possible for WhatsApp to gain more users in the coming years.
Recently, WhatsApp has been reported to remove their annual subscription fee, attracting more and more users to use the app. However, the company has a strict commitment to avoid using ads to monetize the app. The company behind WhatsApp is trying to monetize their app using a new method of monetization involving data sharing with businesses.