Bigger than SMS?
The cross-platform messaging service’s CEO, Jan Kuom, announced this figure at the DLD conference in Munich. He also announced that WhatsApp was now serving 430 million users in the New Year. The numbers seem to have jumped from the 400 million figure posted by WhatsApp late last year. Essentially, the company has managed to add 30 million users in about a month’s time.
TechCrunch has reported now, that the 50 billion messages that WhatsApp is processing on a daily basis is rivaling the app’s biggest competitor globally – the SMS. Mobile Analyst, Benedict Evans, has chirped in to add to the publication’s story. In a tweet he mentioned that WhatsApp’s message volume growth is still accelerating and has probably overtaken SMS already.
What’s most interesting about WhatsApp’s steady rise is its subscription model. Unlike multiple other widely-used cross platform messengers, WhatsApp does not sell you stickers or shows you ads. The company relies on users purchasing the application on a yearly subscription basis, but after a year’s worth of free usage. The app costs around Rs 50 a year after the first year lapses, a fee most users find worthwhile after using WhatsApp.
One thing Kuom reiterated during his talk was that the company would be sticking to its guns, avoiding advertising and other “gimmicks” like disappearing photos and games. “We just want to focus on messaging. If people want to play games there are plenty of other sites and also a lot of great companies building services around advertising,” he said.