The answer is actually very simple, what’s up with WhatsApp is that the company is arguably one of the fastest growing mobile apps in the world, yes the world. WhatsApp has announced in a blog post, they have over 500 million active users, over 700 million photos and over 100 million videos.
The company mentions that the fastest growing regions have been those outside of North America, specifically naming Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and India. The app which provides a free, across any international lines, messaging service, has most recently been in the news due to its $19 billion buyout by social media giant Facebook.
As recent as April 1, WhatsApp announced that its users had sent and received over 64 billion messages in a 24 hour time period, proving to be a new milestone for the service. The elephant in the room for both WhatsApp and Facebook though, is how exactly do you monetize that user base. Both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg and WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum have committed to keeping WhatsApp advertisement free.
WhatsApp seems to have a strong handle on the recipe for success going forward. Koum recently was quoted in the Indian Times saying “There’s not enough money and not enough celebrities in the world to convince people to use a shitty product. People are so savvy these days. People expect a good user experience,” Koum told Recode. With this understanding, it is easy to see the commitment is first to the functionality of the service, and second to the revenue generation.
No matter how you break it down, WhatsApp’s early success is nothing short of impressive, and the ball doesn’t seem to be slowing any time soon.