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WhatsApp smashes one billion monthly users milestone


By John Glenday, Reporter

February 2, 2016 | 2 min read

Mobile messaging service WhatsApp has demonstrated its growing popularity after it racked up a billion monthly users for the first time ever.

The record breaking figures show the service is continuing to go from strength to strength since its acquisition by Facebook with 42bn texts and 250m videos being sent by the service daily.

Attracted by its lack of monetisation and usage fees, users have gravitated toward the service in increasing numbers.

Despite this apparent dominance, WhatsApp still trails in key markets such as China and South Korea, where local players such as WeChat and Kakao Talk hold sway. The company's decision last month to axe subscription fees may go some way to clsoing that gap as well as allowing it to explore new revenue opportunities such as advertising.

Jack kent, mobile analyst at HIS, told the BBC: “Facebook had just started pushing people to its own standalone Messenger app, when it bought WhatsApp. But there was a risk it could have been acquired by a competitor and Facebook would lose millions of highly-engaged mobile users to a rival.

"But WhatsApp still faces those challenges from domestic players who monetise their services very well. It remains a competitive area."

Facebook snapped up WhatsApp for $19bn back in 2014 and continues to push its own Messenger app, which now serves 800m monthly users.

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