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WhatsApp tops half a billion users

Facebook is to acquire WhatsApp

OTT messaging app WhatsApp has racked up a further 50 million users since its acquisition by Facebook in mid-February. The company on Wednesday announced that half a billion people around the world are now regular, active WhatsApp users.

“In the last few months, we’ve grown fastest in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, and our users are also sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day,” the company said.

In February, Facebook agreed to acquire WhatsApp for an eye watering $19bn, in what some billed as the largest startup acquisition in web history. Facebook itself has 945 million users according to CEO Mark Zukerberg.

Earlier this month Facebook removed messaging capabilities from its mobile app in some European markets as it seeks to grow the reach of its Facebook Messenger app as a platform for communications, content and commerce.

WhatsApp reportedly has a higher penetration than Facebook Messenger on mobile in Europe, so it is possible that this is a reactionary move from Facebook and it is significant that Facebook has taken this step in Europe first, and not the US, where Facebook Messenger reportedly has higher penetration than WhatsApp.

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