When Facebook announced that it was planning to acquire WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion in February 2014, many people weren’t convinced of what WhatsApp could add to Facebook’s already impressive portfolio of social media and messaging apps.
At the time, WhatsApp had 465 million monthly active users (compared to Facebook’s 1.2 billion) and while it was still growing, it wasn’t particularly popular in the United States. In hindsight, it looks as if Facebook swooped in at the right time, considering that WhatsApp’s user base has more than tripled since. Today the most popular messaging service in the world connects more than 1.5 billion people, who send the unbelievable number of 65 billion messages per day using WhatsApp’s mobile app (or web client to a lesser extent).
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While Facebook still isn’t monetizing WhatsApp the way some investors would probably like them to, acquiring the messaging service four years ago has certainly helped the company monopolize online messaging in a way that it couldn’t have done without it. As the following chart illustrates, WhatsApp usage has grown steadily over the past seven years and continues to do so.
You will find more infographics at Statista
This statistic shows a timeline with the amount of monthly active WhatsApp users worldwide as of December 2017. As of that month, the mobile messaging app announced more than 1.5 billion monthly active users, up from over 1 billion MAU in February 2016. The service is one of the most popular mobile apps worldwide.
WhatsApp is a cross-platform instant messaging service for smartphones that relies on the internet for the transmission of messages. Based on a low-cost subscription model, WhatsApp is a cheap alternative to carrier-billed text messaging via SMS, especially for international or group messaging. The mobile messaging app enables users to share text, image and video messages. In the United States, the WhatsApp audience amounted to 18.8 million users in 2016 and is set to grow to 25.6 million users 2021.
WhatsApp is especially popular in markets outside the United States while facing strong competition from Asia-based social messenger apps such as WeChat, LINE or Kakaotalk. WhatsApp’s popularity in emerging mobile markets is not only based on their low-cost business model but on many of its features.
In February 2014, social network Facebook acquired WhatsApp for 19 billion U.S. dollars.