WhatsApp races ahead: 500 million users, 700 million photos, 100 million videos

The numbers released by WhatsApp on Wednesday shows that the instant messaging app continues to find users at an astounding pace. In a blog post, WhatsApp announced that it now has over 500 million active users. These users share 700 million photos and 100 million videos daily.

“Thanks to all of you, half a billion people around the world are now regular, active WhatsApp users,” WhatsApp noted in a post on the official blog. “In the last few months, we’ve grown fastest in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, and our users are also sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day. We could go on, but for now, it’s more important that we get back to work – because here at WhatsApp, we’re just getting started.”

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum told Recode, a website that covers technology news, that of these 500 million users, around 48 million are based in India. In Brazil, the service has 45 million users.

WhatsApp, which started in 2009, was bought by Facebook in February in a deal worth $19 billion. When seen together, Facebook and WhatsApp now have nearly 1.5 billion active users, giving Facebook a huge reach, specially on mobiles.

Earlier on April 1, WhatsApp had announced that its users exchanged 64 billion messages in 24 hours, setting a new record for the service.
However, despite the huge user base, it is not yet clear how Facebook will monetise WhatsApp. The instant messaging app doesn’t show advertisements and both Koum and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have said that this won’t change anytime soon.

Koum told Recode that despite the fast growth, WhatsApp was not yet thinking about monetisation. He said the focus remained on providing clean and usable instant messaging service.