There are a plethora of cross-platform instant messaging services out there but none is as popular as WhatsApp. It has been catering to hundreds of millions of users for quite some time now, but today WhatsApp announced that it has achieved a significant milestone. The service now has 400 million users across the globe, up from 350 million back in October. 100 million active users were added in the last four months alone. It clarifies that this figure doesn’t show the number of people who have registered for the service, it shows how many people use it every month.
Without naming any names, CEO of WhatsApp Jan Koum writes that his team has been able to offer the best possible user experience without having to rely on “annoying banner ads, game promotions, or all those other distracting features,” that are present in various other popular messaging applications. One can only assume that its a jab towards Asian rivals LINE and WeChat, both of them have several hundred million users among them and have a number of in-app monetization features through which they generate revenue. Its true that WhatsApp offers a distraction free messaging experience, but its rivals are raking in serious money. LINE alone is expected to be worth $30 billion after its Tokyo IPO next year, whereas its revenues from in-app “features” might cross $1 billion in 2014. Though in terms of sheer user stats, WhatsApp is the undisputed king.