The mobile free messaging app WahtsApp, now bought by Facebook for $19 billion, has reached a mind-boggling number of 600,000,000 users who are active and registered.
When FaceBook bought the compnay in January, its subscription base was 430 millions, almost double the number six months ago in August 2013.
Nevertheless, in April it went up to 500 million active users and now in August, it reported 600 million. In all, it was 200 % increase in subscriptions and more than 100 million are from India.
WhatsApp CEO and founder Jan Koum took to Twitter to announce the latest figure. "Now serving 600,000,000 monthly active users. Yes, active and registered are very different types of numbers," he said in the message signed "jan koum" (@jankoum).
A BGR India report said WhatsApp added ten million users in the last three months and the app says it was more at 50 million in the last three months. The popularity of the app has already sent shockwaves among the Indian telecom companies, which have paid huge money bags for 2G and 3G spectrum in autions and in scams that preceded.
They have approached the regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI’s) for a better level-playing field with WhatsApp, Viber and even Skype.
TRAI is reliably learnt to have been working on a consultation paper for all over the top (OTT) players, including WhatsApp and Skype, which provide same SMS and Phone call services free of cost.
Facebook , which has bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, is also exploring a way to charge more than what it currently does to provide the service. It has already announced to pull out the messaging feature from its mobile apps, that sent many to download its standalone Messenger apps. Skype is also likely to withdraw its free phone call service soon and TRAI advisory would make both players happily implement it soon.