WhatsApp Launches Web Browser

Mobile might be the future, but that’s no reason to discount all the time people spend on desktops. With that in mind, WhatsApp just launched a Web browser.

“Our Web client is simply an extension of your phone,” the messaging service explains in a new blog post.

Leading up to this major expansion, WhatsApp was already growing at a healthy rate.

Indeed, the service now has more than 700 million monthly active users — up from around 600 million this past summer — CEO Jan Koum recently revealed. What’s more, WhatsApp users now send over 30 billion messages on a daily basis, Koum noted.

As demonstrated by his decision to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion, Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg is awfully bullish about 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.  

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