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    February 13, 2017

    WhatsApp steadily climbs to reach 1.2 billion users

    whatsapp 1,2 billion users

    Facebook-owned WhatsApp has officially reached over 1.2 billion monthly active users; nearly three times the amount the company had in 2014.

    In 2014, WhatsApp was a vastly different company. Prior to its acquisition by Facebook, the app had over 450 million monthly active users and operated around one simple premise: never sell ads.

    In 2017, that’s a vastly different equation. WhatsApp, now operating under Facebook’s banner, sports over 1.2 billion monthly active users that send over 50 billion messages per day.

    Read: Facebook Lite smashes through a record 200 million users worldwide

    The app has introduced several new features – such as the ability to make voice and video calls, use Snapchat-style image-editing features, and even now supports GIFs.

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has openly stated that his goals for WhatsApp vastly differ from Facebook’s in-house messaging client, Messenger. Zuckerberg cited that while WhatsApp’s “graph is based on phone numbers”, Messenger’s “graph is your friends.

    Zuckerberg cited that while WhatsApp’s “graph is based on phone numbers”, Messenger’s “graph is your friends” – while Messenger will be more expressive and feature-laden, its green counterpart will be a ‘more stark’ experience.

    Still, that doesn’t mean that new features aren’t in the pipeline – and now that the latter app has surpassed Zuckerberg’s expectation of one billion monthly active users, it would seem the long arm of Facebook is ready to sweepingly monetize the app.

    An update to WhatsApp’s terms of service last year enabled the potential for the app to share user data with Facebook – a decision which is now being contested in Europe. Further, the app is expected to introduce bots and portals for consumers to engage with brands as part of a fresh monetization bid.

    Read: Facebook announces that ads are headed to Messenger

    What are your thoughts on the news that WhatsApp has broken past 1.2 billion monthly active users? Is there anything that can stop the rise of Facebook’s darling app? How could it be monetized? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

    Source: Fox Business

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