WhatsApp, the social messaging app now owned by Facebook, continues to gain users at a steady pace and has hit the 800 million monthly active user mark. The numbers were put up on a Facebook post by Jan Koum, WhatsApp’s co-founder and CEO.
Koum wrote on Facebook, “WhatsApp – now serving 800,000,000 monthly active users. Reminder for the press out there: active and registered users are not the same thing.”
This is a big milestone for WhatsApp, since the company had announced in January that it had the 700 million monthly active users. That means in a span of over 4 months, they’ve managed to add another 100 million monthly active users.
The difference between registered users and monthly active users that Koum has pointed out in his post is also an important one. What this means is that WhatsApp has 800 million users who are active on the platform each month. It means that the number of registered users, the ones who might have downloaded WhatsApp on an older number is probably much higher.
The difference between registered users, the ones who sign up but might not necessarily use the service, and monthly active users is an important one because it gives a sense of user engagement on that service. In WhatsApp’s case that’s 800 million currently, which is second only to its parent company Facebook, that boasts of more than 1 billion monthly active users.
WhatsApp is thus ahead of rivals like the Chinese app WeChat which has over 500 million monthly active users as of March 2015. WeChat is the most popular messaging app in China, where WhatsApp is still not available.
For WhatsApp, the spectacular growth hasn’t really meant a lot of profits. According to official results put out by Facebook, WhatsApp lost over $138 million last year. Facebook has so far said that it has no plans of exploring a business-model like say ads with WhatsApp.