WhatsApp, one of the largest cross-platform online messaging service, has recently announced that they now have more than 400 Mn monthly active users. The number has grown from 300 Mn in August, adding 100 Mn users to the application’s user base in just 4 months. Additionally, WhatsApp claims this is the number of users who are actively using the service at least once a month, and not a count of people who just registered for the service.
The company, which was founded in 2009, has seen a commendable growth, specifically since it claims to have spent no money on marketing. According to the blog post by Jan Koum, founder of WhatsApp, “We’ve arrived at this point without spending a dollar on targeted ads or big marketing campaigns.” He attributes the success to word of mouth publicity by its users.
The service also has no in-app monetization or advertisements, but generates revenue through charging users 0.99 USD per year, after a free usage period of one year. It had also raised USD 8 Mn in funding from Sequoia Capital back in 2011.
In India, the company has a user base of over 30 Mn, but the number is expected to grow with the rising internet and mobile penetration in the country. Earlier this month, the company also signed a deal with Tata Docomo where the telecom operator will offer unlimited WhatsApp data usage to its subscribers.
Other companies providing similar messaging service include Line, WeChat, Snapchat and Kik messenger among others. Line announced last month that it has crossed 300 Mn users worldwide, while WeChat claims to have over 270 Mn users. Canada based Kik interactive has a user base of 100 Mn users. However information about whether these numbers are of active monthly users or just the total number of registrations for the app has been left out by these companies.
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