WhatsApp on Monday crossed 600 million monthly active users, according to a tweet by its CEO and co-founder Jan Koum. The company had crossed 500 million active users in April, adding 100 million users in four months.
Now serving 600,000,000 monthly active users. Yes, active and registered are very different types of numbers...-- jan koum (@jankoum) August 25, 2014
In his tweet, Koum mentions that active users are different from registered users, taking a dig at other services that more typically make announcements about the registered numbers. WhatsApp's widespread use is perhaps best demonstrated by how other people are using the messaging service - virtual wallets tout WhatsApp support while the police sees the app as a tool to fight corruption and telecom operators create special WhatsApp Data Packs to encourage people to use the Internet on their phones. And that's just in India.
It's not all been smooth running for the company though. While Facebook has acquired WhatsApp the process is going to take a year to complete, and the social network recently made it mandatory to download Facebook Messenger to chat with people. With the growing popularity of WhatsApp in India, there was talk about Trai imposing fees on services like WhatsApp and Skype to cover for lost operator revenue, though this has been dropped, for now. And in June, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton said that the US was still a challenge for the company.
"Growth in the United States is a challenge for us," Acton said after a talk at StartX, an incubator for young companies affiliated with Stanford University. He also cited Japan and Taiwan as countries where "we could have been more successful with a little bit more effort."