WhatsApp now has half billion active users; 48 million in India alone

Popular messaging app WhatsApp has now crossed 500 million users. The company which was bought by Facebook in February this year  - for a gigantic amount of $19 billion - has been steadily adding to its growing list of users.


Last year in August, WhatsApp had 200 million users while the number doubled to 430 million in January 2014. The instant messaging app had also revealed that it processes 50 billion messages on an average every day.


Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp says in a post on company’s blog, “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."


The post further clarifies that these 500 million people are not only registered members but also active users. The new milestone for the messaging app explains why Mark Zuckerberg was interested in buying it.


As far as India is concerned, it remains one of the fastest growing markets for WhatsApp. WhatsApp's Neeraj Arora told BGR India that it's adding a whopping 4 million active users per month and the India user base is set to cross 50 million mark in May, constituting 10 percent of all users. Currently the report says the service has 48 million active users in the country.


The deal between WhatsApp and Facebook has come under scrutiny for privacy issues. One of the major reasons users are worried about this acquisition is they fear WhatsApp could lose its ad-free messaging service.


The recent WhatsApp outages have only fuelled the fear that it might not be ad-free service for longer. Jan Koum put to rest these fears by releasing an official statement that reads, "WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee. You can continue to use WhatsApp no matter where in the world you are, or what smartphone you’re using. And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication.”


As expected by Mark Zuckerberg, the app seems to be well on track to achieve the billion users mark.

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