WhatsApp joined Facebook as one of only two non-Google apps to reach 5 billion installs. Google bundles many of its apps with the Android OS making WhatsApp’s 5 billion installs all the more impressive.
There can be little doubt that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app outside of China. WhatsApp boasts 1.5 billion active users each month.
WhatsApp and Facebook are now the only non-Google app to reach the 5 billion install milestone. WhatsApp and Facebook are both owned by Facebook Inc.
WhatsApp was founded in January 2011 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum. Facebook acquired the California-based start-up in 2014 for approximately $19.3 billion.
At the time, this transaction was the largest acquisition of a venture capital-backed company in history.
By 2015 WhatsApp was the most popular messaging service in the world. The app had 700m monthly users and nearly 30 billion messages sent per day.
WhatsApp changed the way we communicate
WhatsApp’s group chat feature has entrenched its place in users’ lives allowing families, colleagues and friends to stay in contact and easily arrange appointments and events.
WhatsApp recently changed its policies for groups banning many groups with names that violated its terms of service. WhatsApp continues to go from strength to strength with its 5 billion installs a vindication of Facebook’s decision to acquire them.
The app has grown from a simple messaging app to include voice and video calls and a powerful platform for sharing media.
The WhatsApp team continues to push through new features in response to its users’ needs which should see WhatsApp retain its position as the preferred messaging app of the world for some time to come.
WhatsApp has become the most popular messaging app in the world even though it has had to deal with criticism of the implementation of its encryption and the security of its client.
Most recently, WhatsApp filed a lawsuit after an Israeli surveillance intelligence firm injected malware onto more than 1 400 users phones using an exploit of the voice call feature.
According to WhatsApp, the malware attack targeted “human rights defenders, journalists and other members of civil society”.
Concerns about the security of the platform have given rise to alternatives like Telegram; a messaging app designed to protect it’s users’ privacy.
WhatsApp will welcome the news of its install milestone the same week it experienced large scale technical problems. WhatsApp reported worldwide outages affecting media sent via the application.