The most popular messaging app, WhatsApp disclosed on Thursday the size of its user base. The Facebook-owned app stated it has accumulated two billion users! Up from 1.5 billion, it reported two years ago. The app also remains ad-free and does not charge its users any fee.
The declaration registers WhatsApp as the only second app from Facebook to be in the two-billion-users club. (Facebook’s marquee app has 2.5 billion users.) During an earnings call in late January, Facebook also pointed out that there were 2.26 billion users that opened Messenger, Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram each day, which was a rise of 2.2 billion from last quarter. The family of apps observes 2.89 billion total monthly users, up 9% year-over-year.
Founded 11 years ago, WhatsApp was sold to Facebook for $19 billion six years ago. Today, it took the chance to restate that it is focused on offering end-to-end encryption to its customers all over the globe an important feature applauded by security experts everywhere. However, something that many governments are increasingly trying to counter.
“Strong encryption acts like an unbreakable digital lock that keeps the information you send over WhatsApp secure, helping protect you from hackers and criminals. Messages are only kept on your phone, and no one in between can read your messages or listen to your calls, not even us. Your private conversations stay between you,” WhatsApp wrote in a blog post.
Governments trying to get rid of encryption
Indian, Australian, and the U.S. government are among others that are trying to force WhatsApp into ditching encryption. It is noteworthy that India happens to be the largest market of WhatsApp, with 400 million users.
The chief executive of WhatsApp, Will Cathcart has pointed out in the past that the messaging platform is going to struggle for the privacy of its users. Last October, this was on display when a suit was filed by WhatsApp in federal court blaming mobile surveillance maker from Israel, NSO Group of making an exploit that was utilized several times to hack into phones of many targets.
“Strong encryption is a necessity in modern life. We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe. For even more protection, we work with top security experts, employ industry-leading technology to stop misuse as well as provide controls and ways to report issues, without sacrificing privacy,” the company said on Thursday.
Popularity comes with a price!
The two-billion milestone is a huge achievement for WhatsApp, which amassed boundless popularity without any sort of marketing in growing markets such as India, where texts and calls were fairly costly for most people. Today, no app in India has a bigger effect than WhatsApp, for instance.
However, even with WhatsApp amassing lots of users in the world, it is still fighting to make any substantial offering to the bottom line of Facebook. In recent years, WhatsApp has rolled out tools for businesses to establish a link with their customers. However, something even more fascinating has occurred in the meantime.
However, this popularity has proven to be problematic and has raised many challenges for WhatsApp. The platform has been continuously used to spread wrong information that has led to awful fatalities in the real world. WhatsApp has rushed to make changes in its product and run campaigns to inform and educate its users; however, it’s going to be a long battle.
Hello, I’m Anna Yeo. If you like my news coverage, please drop a good word in my inbox. I’m journalist by profession and have been part of many major reporting across the globe. I like to write crisp and factual news. I have completed my masters degree in journalism. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]