WhatsApp is undoubtedly one of the most popular cross platform messaging service out there, touting over 460 million users. It has been in the news quite a lot, primarily due to the fact that Facebook has acquired it for $19 billion. Only a couple of days after this news broke though WhatsApp went dark for several hours, an outage that lead to CEO Jan Koum having to apologize. During this time its competitors did very well, particularly Line. It added 2 million new users in just one day.
Line is quite popular down in Asia, and has been working hard over the past few months to increase its presence around the globe. Obviously this means battling WhatsApp in markets where it has a fairly strong grip, and outages definitely play to the rival’s advantage. Jeanie Han, Line’s CEO of Euro-Americas, said that the company’s strategy has always included “providing a strong network that can handle unplanned and unexpected increases in network traffic.” This is certainly a bit tongue in cheek, presumably Han’s implying that WhatsApp hasn’t been able to keep up with the surge in network traffic after news of its acquisition by Facebook went public. She deals another blow by adding that Line provides a “safe, secure platform that will always work when our users need it the most.” To really understand how much Line benefitted from WhatsApp’s outage, wrap your head around the fact that 2 million new users in the day is actually five times its user rate of new signups in regions such as North America, Europe and South America.