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The instant messaging app giant WhatsApp is now 500 million strong. After having been bought by Facebook for a whopping $19 billion, WhatsApp has continuously seen a growth in terms of active users. It was in August last year when WhatsApp had a user base of 200 million. The figure doubled to 430 million in January 2014 wherein the company also revealed that they process an average of 50 billion messages a day.

“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”, Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp, said in an official blog post.

The interesting part here is that Jan Koum clarifies that these 500 million are active WhatsApp users and not just the registered ones. These figures are justifying why Mark spent such a hefty amount on the app.

India is one of those countries where WhatsApp has seen a rapid growth rate. The stats say that 4 million active users per month are adding from India. It is forecasted that India might well hit the 50 million figure alone in May. The figure at the time of writing is 48 million.

WhatsApp went down a couple of times after the acquisition and this is what Jan had to say on the same, “WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee. You can continue to use WhatsApp no matter where in the world you are, or what smartphone you’re using. And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication.”

WhatsApp is all set to touch the one billion mark. What’s your take?

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