Facebook’s WhatsApp messenger and Google’s Gmail have both crossed the 1 billion monthly active user milestone, meaning that one-seventh of the world’s population now uses them both.
Gmail becomes the sixth Google service to cross the 1 billion users (other google 1 billion monthly active users services: Android, Chrome, YouTube, Maps, Search and Google Play.), while WhatsApp becomes Facebook’s second most-used app.
WhatsApp, which was launched in 2009, was acquired by social networking site Facebook for a whopping $19 billion in February 2014. Back then, it had only 450 million monthly active users. In less than two years, the app has more than doubled its user base, beating even Facebook’s Messenger, which has about 800 million users.
In a post on Facebook, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum said 42 billion messages were sent, 1.6 billion photos and 250 million videos shared everyday on the platform.
From Mark Zuckerberg:
WhatsApp’s community has more than doubled since joining Facebook. We’ve added the ability for you to call loved ones far away. We’ve dropped the subscription fee and made WhatsApp completely free. Next, we’re going to work to connect more people around the world and make it easier to communicate with businesses.
There are only a few services that connect more than a billion people. This milestone is an important step towards connecting the entire world.
Thanks a billion for helping us make Gmail better and better!https://t.co/Rd82YqwGjl
— Gmail (@gmail) February 1, 2016
Even though Gmail, which launched in 2004, took much longer to hit 1 billion users. The guys at Google were also in a celebratory mood as the company announced having hit 1 billion users. The company said that it had added 100 million users since last May and more than doubled its users from 425 million in 2012.
For Google, users of its apps including Gmail are potential eyeballs for its advertising business, but the business case for Facebook’s WhatsApp, which recently announced that it would waive its yearly $0.99 fee, is less clear. WhatsApp committed to staying advertising free, and there is no formal link within the app between Facebook and WhatsApp.