While WhatsApp might be one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, over in China WeChat is giving them a run for their money. In a report from the Financial Times (paywall; via The Verge), it seems that WeChat is now boasting that they have managed to hit the 1 billion account mark worldwide.

This is impressive when you consider that it was just last month that WhatsApp announced that they had 1.5 billion active monthly users, which means that WeChat is slowly catching up. However it should be noted that these are accounts, not users, and given that users can create multiple accounts (one for personal, work, school, etc.), the actual number of users could be lower.

According to a report from CNN, it seems that not everyone is thrilled by these figures as some believe that WeChat will only struggle to add more users over time. It quotes Matthew Brennan, founder of ChinaChannel, a WeChat-focused research firm as saying, “The growth on WeChat has been slowing down consistently for the last two years. It’s really topped out, I feel. It’s not going to go much further.”

It is an interesting sentiment as WeChat is more than just a chat app. It can be used for mobile payments (something that WhatsApp is looking into as well), take out loans, make purchases, and so on, which means that engagement should be pretty high. Whether or not it will eventually overtake WhatsApp remains to be seen, but hitting the 1 billion mark is still a pretty impressive achievement nonetheless.

Filed in Cellphones >General. Read more about Apps, China and Wechat.

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