It’s still too early to tell whether Facebook overpaid for WhatsApp. $19 billion is a lot of billions, after all. But, the messaging service does appear to be growing at a healthy clip.
WhatsApp now has more than 700 million monthly active users — up from around 600 million this past summer — according to its CEO, Jan Koum.
“Additionally, every day our users now send over 30 billion messages,” Koum boasted in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
The numbers must come as welcome news for Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg, who has been incredibly bullish about mobile messaging.
At a recent “town hall” meeting, Zuckerberg noted that messaging is now “one of the few things that people actually do more than social networking. In a lot of countries, we’ll see that maybe 85% of the people who are online will use Facebook, but maybe 95% of people — or in some places 99% — will use SMS or sent text messages,” Zuckerberg said.
Adding to Zuckerberg’s excitement, Facebook recently said its distinct Messenger app had been downloaded more than 500 million times.
Like the success of Instagram — which Facebook bought for about $1 billion — a healthy WhatsApp means that Facebook can rely a little less on the popularity of its flagship social network.
With around 1.35 billion users, Facebook.com has never been more popular. Yet a recent report from Frank N. Magid Associates found that younger users continue to gravitate away from the social giant.
Looking ahead, Koum added: “We’re even more excited to keep building a great product in 2015.”