Speaking today at D: Dive Into Mobile in New York City, CEO Jan Koum broke the news that WhatsApp is now used by over 200 million monthly active users. On an average day, they see 12 billion outbound messages, and 8 billion inbound messages. With less than 50 engineers, the messaging service also has the highest ratio of active users per long-term employee of any tech company.
Back in December, Twitter announced it had reached over 200 million monthly active users. A monumental feat, it’s impressive that WhatsApp has apparently trumped that number. While Mr. Koum didn’t offer exact figures for WhatsApp, but he did mention that since charging users 99 cents per year, usage has not dropped off.
Last week, when those rumors of Google purchasing WhatsApp were flying around, WhatsApp completely denied an acquisition. Koum still stands firmly behind that, and this isn’t their first rodeo addressing such rumors. The service is clearly doing well, and now that WhatsApp is monetizing, they can focus on creating a great messaging app, which Koum notes is their focus.
While an acquisition of WhatsApp by Google seemed possible, today’s discussion shows us that WhatsApp is just not interested. They want to continue to make a great app, and remain independant. When asked if they were going to branch out beyond simple messaging functionality, Koum pointed out that Google started out as a search company, and solidified that effort before moving on.
Hopefully that means we can expect great things from WhatsApp in the future.