Crossing another milestone in its users base, messaging app WhatsApp has now one billion people using its app every day.
WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile messaging app that allows users to exchange messages for free. The messaging App is the leading player in the messaging space, followed by Facebook Messenger that crossed a billion monthly users in July and Tencent’s WeChat that has 938 million monthly active users as of May 2017.
App users are now sending 55 billion messages, 4.5 billion photos and 1 billion videos on a daily basis , according to the company. It has touched the mark of one billion monthly active users in February last year and now has 1.3 billion monthly active users.
In 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a $19 billion in cash and stock. Facebook kept WhatsApp as a separate service just as it did with Instagram. The valuation seemed big, especially because WhatsApp didn’t have any monetisation model.
At present, India is the biggest market for WhatsApp with more than 200 million monthly active users. It also become the most downloaded application on Google Play Store in India.
In February, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton visited India in order to gather insights from people on how his company can contribute to the country in a more prominent way. WhatsApp is also looking for a digital payments entry in the country and plans to adopt UPI payment system soon.
The company also increased its workforce by 43% to 20 658 as of 30 June. And it is looking aggressively to hire more people to help WhatsApp in monetisation. Facebook’s average revenue per user in the Asia Pacific region during Q2 was $2.13, compared to $19.38 in the US & Canada. And the ARPU in Asia Pacific is growing at a much slower rate than in the US – up 22% year-over-year in Asia versus a 38% increase in the US.
Besides, the messaging app is also working on new feature. To keep users on its platform, it is planing to introduce a Recall feature- this will allow users to recall or unsend texts, images, videos, GIFs, documents, quoted messages and even status replies within a five-minute window, said The Independent report.
How can Facebook monetise WhatsApp?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has recently expressed his wish of making money from Messenger and WhatsApp. It is also planing to to generate sales from users’ direct relationships with businesses. Especially, after it found no space for adding more ads to its core money maker, Newsfeed.
Here the moot question is, how Facebook will take advantage of WhatsApp users?
There is hardly any doubt that FB is emerging as giant and most probably largest medium of communication for people. Facebook has huge pile of users data, and arsenals like Instagram and WhatsApp are adding to its numbers.
Facebook could use WhatsApp with its troves of data to help bring more people online through subsidized Internet, which Facebook already offers in some countries. This can be used for marked advertising on other Facebook properties.
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Zuckerberg also hinted towards getting an update about chat bots for WhatsApp at next Facebook’s annual developer conference. What would be outcome of it, will be keenly awaited.
Besides , Facebook has Instagram, which is proving to be cash cow for the social giant. According to a report, Instagram did $2 billion in revenue in 2016, and that its revenue will grow to $22 billion by 2021. Though FB has not made break out of Instagram’s revenue.
With as huge numbers of users as WhataApp has declared, it could certainly be next cash cow for Facebook if monitised.
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