WhatsApp really seems to know what’s up. Ever since it was acquired by Facebook Inc. last year, the messaging app has been on a streak when it comes to its monthly active users (MAUs).
The company’s co-founder and CEO Jan Koum announced that WhatsApp has recently reached the milestone of 900 million MAUs, and it still has no plan for how to monetize such a huge user base. When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked about his plans for WhatsApp back in February 2014, he said money was not the focus, but growth.
And while Facebook’s pockets are clearly deep enough, not worrying about making the messaging app profitable seems fair. But here we are, a year-and-a-half later, and the messaging app has doubled its MAUs, and the money-making is still on hold.
But Zuckerberg has already offered his view on the matter when he said that – as ridiculous as it might sound – Facebook has little interest of turning products into businesses before they reach a fanbase of more than a billion people.
At the current rate of expanding, that might happen sooner rather than later. Koum had announced the previous milestone – 800 million using the messaging service each month – in April, which is really a short time ago. Should WhatsApp keep adding to its user base, the one billion mark will be reached by January 2016.
And it’s not the only achievement that WhatsApp can boast with. In a recent report by App Annie, the messaging service ranked in the top 10 most downloaded iOS apps, right after Facebook’s main app, Facebook Messenger and Facebook-owned Instagram.
While Facebook’s plans with WhatsApp are to keep it simply a messaging service, that’s not the case for Facebook Messenger. Ever since it became a standalone app late 2011, the app also became a central focus of development for the tech company.
In 2014, Facebook completely removed the option of chatting from the main app and forced its mobile users to download the separate app. This year, the process of growing Messenger into its own platform has continued, with more and more options and features rolled out with each update.
WhatsApp users have little to worry when it comes to any major changes. What’s for sure is that co-founder Brian Acton still stands by his famous Post-it note that he keeps on his: “No ads! No games! No gimmicks!”
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