WhatsApp gets 250m active users- becomes one of the biggest global messaging platforms

26/06/2013

Chat app WhatsApp is now attracting more than 250 million active monthly users, making it one of the largest communications platforms in the world, according to a news report.

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The stats were revealed to the Wall Street Journal, also showing that inbound traffic on the app (messages sent) had doubled every six months up to March 2013 and that on the June 13 they hit a new daily record of 27 billion messages handled in 24 hours.

These figures combine to make WhatsApp one of the largest messaging platforms globally, though whether their rate of user uptake and messages sent can be sustained remains to be seen.

The competitive field of so-called ‘over the top’ (OTT) instant messaging platforms has seen explosive growth over the past couple of years, with a variety of different companies offering near-identical services and vying for dominance.

Whats App rise comes as chat apps volume are predicted to be twice as big as texts by 2014.

A recent study by Informa indicated that by the end of 2013 OTT messaging traffic would be twice that of traditional SMS texts, topping out at around 41 billion messages sent every day (compared to 19.5 billion sent via SMS).

Founded in 2009 by two ex-Yahoo employees Brian Acton and Jan Koum, WhatsApp is one of the earliest entrants into the field. It charges 69p a year subscription, using consumers’ mobile data to make calls, send texts and pictures.

Chat apps are increasingly posing a threat to telecoms companies, who rely on SMS and MMS charges as a large portio of their revenue.

Other competitors in the chat app sector include the Microsoft-owned Skype which boasts around 280 million monthly active users .

Viber currently drawing over 200 million monthly active users and offers desktop support, while Line, a Japanese-based OTT service who claim 150 million registered users.

China’s WeChat, run by TenCent, gets 195 million active users a month. By comparison, Facebook Messenger was estimated to have only 57 million monthly active users, according to TechCrunch.

Read the WSJ report here

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