Messaging app WhatsApp has just announced a huge milestone–they've topped half a billion "regular, active" users.
And those users are sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every day.
"Thanks to all of you, half a billion people around the world are now regular, active WhatsApp users. In the last few months, we’ve grown fastest in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, and our users are also sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day. We could go on, but for now, it’s more important that we get back to work – because here at WhatsApp, we’re just getting started," says the company on their blog.
That's a lot of photos and videos, but the sheer volume of plain old messages is also pretty impressive. Earlier this month, they announced a new total message record with a whopping 64 billion (sent and received) in one single day.
new daily record: 20B messages sent (inbound) and 44B messages received (outbound) by our users = 64B messages handled in just 24 hours.
— WhatsApp Inc. (@WhatsApp) April 2, 2014
These big numbers come as WhatsApp and Facebook both wait to see what the regulatory bodies will say about their proposed merger. Back in February, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion.
“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable. I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected,” said Mark Zuckerberg at the time of the announcement.
At the time, WhatsApp boasted around 450 million active users, so it looks like the company has continued to grow despite some user backlash over their selling to Facebook. At the time, WhatsApp assured its users that the service would "remain autonomous and operate independently," and that "nothing would change."
And it's that specific promise that the Federal Trade Commission wants them to keep. Earlier this month, the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection head sent a pointed letter to parties as both Facebook and WhatsApp with one simple message: don't screw with user privacy if/when this acquisition goes through.
“WhatsApp has made a number of promises about the limited nature of the data it collects, maintains, and shares with third parties–promises that exceed the protections currently promised to Facebook users. We want to make clear that regardless of the acquisition, WhatsApp must continue to honor these promises to consumers. Further, if the acquisition is completed and WhatsApp fails to honor these promises, both companies could be in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act and, potentially, the FTC’s order against Facebook,” said the FTC.
500,000,000 users is a huge milestone for the company. CEO Jan Koum recently announced that WhatsApp would eventually roll out support for free voice calls.
Image via WhatsApp, Twitter