WhatsApp has surpassed 700 million monthly active users

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Almost one year after Facebook acquired the company for a whopping $16 billion, WhatsApp has surpassed more than 700 million monthly active users, a number which it hopes to expand to 1 billion within a year. This news not only highlights Facebook’s focus on mobile users, it shows how insanely popular messaging apps are becoming. 

Mobile messaging platform WhatsApp has accumulated more than 700 million monthly active users and seems on track to reach 1 billion in about a year, a target Facebook set when it acquired the company in 2014. The announcement comes about 11 months after Facebook acquired the app for US$16 billion, a move that reflected the importance that Facebook places on mobile users. The latest WhatsApp milestone is significant because it also highlights the recent rise of messaging apps as a more popular and economical option than SMS text messaging, which has suffered declines of nearly 5 percent in countries such as the U.K. In France operators saw SMS traffic on Jan. 1 decline by 10 to 20 percent compared to last year, while the use of MMS, messaging apps and other data traffic rose, according to local media.

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