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.

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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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