WhatsApp is hooking millions of Indians every month and currently stands at 70 million user base, said the mobile free SMS messaging service provider’s India head Neeraj Arora.
Every two to three months period, Whatsapp is reporting tens of millions joining its service and engaging with the service at least once in a month and India’s users constitute one-tenth of the app’s total world users, which was 600 million in August 2014.
In January, when FaceBook bought the company for $19 billion, its subscribers’ base was 430 millions, reached 600 million by August end. Its CEO and founder Jan Koum took to Twitter to announce: “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).
The fact was supported by a BGR India report in September that said WhatsApp has been adding 10 million users to its India base since April. Already Indian companies are up in arms over the widening base of the app much to thier chagrin as they had to pay huge money bags for 2G and 3G spectrum in auctions and in scams.
Already they have complained to the teleco regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for a better level-playing field with WhatsApp, Viber and even Skype. TRAI is learnt to have been working on a consultation paper for all over the top (OTT) players, including WhatsApp and Skype, which provide free same SMS and Phone call services.
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.
WhatsApp founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum, speaking at Startup School Silicon Valley 2014, admitted that they are focusing on its quality than merely enrolling more now.
In addition, they are keen to develop a ‘cool product’ with more valuation, said Neeraj Arora speaking to the Indian media.