Facebook-owned instant messaging service looking for further expansion, says Zuckerberg
WhatsApp is now so popular that it is being used by one in seven people on the planet each month, the firm’s parent company revealed today.
The news was revealed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on his Facebook page, congratulating WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton for topping the milestone.
“There are only a few services that connect more than a billion people,” Zuckerberg wrote. “This milestone is an important step towards connecting the entire world.”
Zuckerberg also noted the progress that WhatsApp has made since being bought by Facebook for £19bn back in 2014, claiming that user numbers have almost doubled since then.
This includes dropping the previous 69p subscription fee for using the service, which was announced last month to great acclaim, although the news did raise fears of in-app advertising coming to WhatsApp.
The service also launched a desktop version, WhatsApp for Web, in January 2015, allowing smartphone users to send messages to friends and family using their browser.
However the Facebook CEO also dropped some hints about the future of WhatsApp, noting that, “Next, we’re going to work to connect more people around the world and make it easier to communicate with businesses.”
This could mean that the company is looking to expand into more markets around the globe, and make WhatsApp able to operate on a wider range of devices.
The latter part again looks to signify WhatsApp’s move into targeted messaging, as companies look to make themselves more contactable at all times.
Such a move would bring WhatsApp in line with Facebook Messenger, which has launched a number of new services in recent months as it looks to greater engage the social network’s users.
Last March, Facebook unveiled Messenger for Businesses, a new service which will allow companies to interact with their customers via Facebook. The service can also help customers, allowing them to receive updates about online shopping orders and delivery times, as well as being able to ask businesses questions about products or services.
These all form part of the wider launch of Messenger as a Platform, an expansion to Messenger which Facebook hopes will expand its reach outside of the social network and on to other sites.