Text messaging replacement WhatsApp now has half a billion active monthly users, the soon to be Facebook owned company has confirmed.
Continuing to grow in popularity, WhatsApp has confirmed the service is now used by 500 million people per month. That’s an impressive 50 million user increase from February of this year.
Other interesting numbers released are that users also shared 700 million photos and 100 million videos using the largely free SMS replacement. Users of WhatsApp get the first 12 months of their service free, and subsequent years cost £0.70, about twice what it costs to support each user on the service.
WhatsApp is currently in the process of being purchased by Facebook for $19 billion for a mix of cash and stock in the social network. The US Federal Trade Commission has approved the deal, but it needs to get international sign-off before everything is official.
Mark Zuckerberg has claimed that he expects that WhatsApp will soon be worth a lot more than $19 billion and he expects user numbers to reach 1 billion globally sooner rather than later. It certainly seems like the service is growing in popularity.
The one remaining question though, is what will WhatsApp do to increase profit and ensure people don’t leave for another service.
The company has already had some server problems this year that have knocked the service out for various periods of time and both WhatsApp and Facebook claim that reliability for their respective services are their number one concern.