Mobile messaging platform WhatsApp has grown to 800 million users, with the news coming after the service was purchased by Facebook for $US16 billion ($A20.5 billion at current exchange rates) in February last year.
At the time of the deal, WhatsApp had a user base of 450 million unique users each month, with 70% of its users active on any given day, and a growth rate of around 1 million new users per day. The deal saw WhatsApp shareholders receive around 7.9% of the total shares in Facebook.
According to The Wall Street Journal, WhatsApp had grown to 600 million active monthly users by August of last year and has been growing at a rate of around 100 million users every four months since then.
If that growth rate continues, the service will reach 1 billion users by the end of the year.
News of the rapid growth of WhatsApp comes after Facebook announced WhatsApp’s sister service, Facebook Messenger, will soon include the ability to transfer money to friends, act as a customer service and sales channel, and have its capabilities extended through third-party apps.
Meanwhile key rival BlackBerry, which is repositioning itself from a smartphone maker to a secure business software and services firm, revealed 1 billion users have used the download store for its BBM mobile messaging app, which is available for iPhone, Windows Phone and Android.