WhatsApp is keen to stand out amongst its rivals as more than just a messaging app. In an effort to promote its additional features, it has announced some impressive figures in regard to its voice-calling function, which was rolled out just over a year ago.
The numbers are notable, but hardly surprising. After all, the app boasts 1 billion users, making it the biggest chat platform in the world. It only became a comprehensive communications platform by adding VoIP in April of last year, playing catch up with the likes of Skype, and Viber.
Since its acquisition by Facebook for a staggering $22 billion in 2014, WhatsApp has continued to operate independently under the leadership of co-founder and CE Jan Koum.
Despite dominating the overseas market — in particular India, Brazil, and Africa — WhatsApp is still struggling to gain a foothold in the U.S. where it faces stiff competition from apps including Facebook Messenger, and iMessage. America is high on Koum’s global domination agenda. In fact, he wants everyone who owns a smartphone to use WhatsApp.
“We’re nowhere near that,” Koum told USA Today. “But we hope that over a certain period of time we will get that critical mass.”
WhatsApp is no stranger to mass usage. At present, its users send 42 billion messages, 1.6 billion photos, and 250 million videos each day. So how exactly does Koum plan to overcome the U.S. stumbling block? As always, he’s relying on organic growth.
“As long as our user base continues to grow, at some point it will have critical mass, and at some point it will tip and at some point people will just have to use WhatsApp because their friends are using WhatsApp,” states Koum.
To that end, social media sites such as Facebook may even be aiding his plans. As WhatsApp’s parent company pointed out recently, it is influencing people to connect across the globe like never before. If you end up making a new friend overseas and plan to message them, chances are you’ll need to download WhatsApp.
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