by Muyiwa Matuluko
The ubiquitous messaging service, acquired by Facebook for $19 billion last year, just hit the 700 million active users mark. That’s a 100 million more active users than it had just last August.
WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, Jan Koum, announced the good news on Facebook yesterday. According to him, over 30 billion messages are sent daily via WhatsApp. Which makes it more perplexing that the low cost and emerging market-focused Nokia 215 favours Facebook Messenger over WhatsApp. Facebook Messenger only just crossed the 500 million mark last November, a direct result of Facebook’s decision to force users to download Messenger as a standalone app earlier in April.
Hitting the 700 million active user mark is obviously a huge deal. It is however unclear how WhatsApp hopes to leverage this to start making money for Facebook. Aside charging a token $0.99 yearly subscription fee (after a free first year), WhatsApp has no other business model in place. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said in the past that he doesn’t want to try to make money from WhatsApp until the service reaches a billion users. It will be interesting to observe how soon WhatsApp can reach that milestone. They will certainly need the help of super low cost internet enabled devices such as the Nokia 215.
I hope you all had a happy and peaceful holiday season. Today, we’re thrilled to share that WhatsApp has more than 700…