We all know popular cross-platform messaging app WhatsApp is big, right? Well think again because the company is larger than you could ever imagine. Speaking onstage at D: Dive Into Mobile, AllThingsD reports WhatApp CEO Jan Koum revealed his company has exceeded the user base of Twitter, which has roughly 200 million monthly active users. Koum went on to say WhatsApp now handles 8 billion inbound messages and 12 million outbound, for a total of 20 billion messages per day.
Looking back, in November of 2011, WhatsApp had just then surpassed 1 billion messages sent in a day. Last August, the company revealed it had eclipsed 10 billion messages sent daily, and recently on New Year’s Eve, WhatsApp informed everyone it had hit 18 billion messages processed in one day.
Back in early 2010, iPhoneinCanada.ca along with a few others helped diagnose messaging errors on the Rogers/Fido network. In our previous communication with Koum we asked if he would share numbers about their users. Koum replied “our numbers are a closely guarded secret which we don’t share with anybody.” This tells you how seriously the company is when it comes to their numbers, so to reveal it is now larger than Twitter is a major milestone.
WhatsApp is growing so quickly it has caught the attention of Facebook and Google, with the latter recently rumoured to acquire the chat app for $1 billion. Koum, an ex-Yahoo employee, says they are “looking forward to a world with billions of phones” to further expand their business model, which currently does not rely on advertising but rather an annual $0.99 subscription (coming soon to new iOS WhatsApp users).
“We do have a manifesto opposing advertising,” Koum said. “We’re proud of that. Who likes advertising? We’re so bombarded with ads so much in our daily lives and we felt that smartphones aren’t the place for that. Our phones are so intimately connected to us, to our lives. Putting advertising on a device like that is a bad idea. You don’t want to be interrupted by ads when you’re chatting with your loved ones.”
Part of the lure of WhatsApp, aside from its simplicity is the fact it doesn’t comment on its user base; its admission it is now larger than Twitter is impressive. With a simple price point of $0.99 and a combination of smartly-timed free download promotions, WhatsApp consistenly sits atop the Top Paid Apps charts within the App Store, a highly coveted spot for developers.
Are you using WhatsApp? It’s still one of my go-to apps for messaging people on non-iOS devices.