Budding entrepreneurs take note, word of mouth advertising still plays a significant role in growth, provided you build solid product or offer a stellar service. Just have a look at WhatsApp, a cross-platform instant messaging service that allows users to send free texts, videos, photos, and audio messages to one another with ZERO ads to distract from the experience. The caveat is that it costs $0.99 per year (after a 1-year free trial), but that nominal charge hasn't stopped WhatsApp from becoming the largest cross-platform messaging service around.
WhatsApp has seen a sudden surge of interest in the past few months. The company announced in a blog post that it now has 400 million monthly active users, 100 million of which joined the party within the last four months alone. In other words, this thing is a freight train and it's gaining momentum. Just imagine if the company gave itself an advertising budget.
"When we say that you made this possible, we mean it. WhatsApp has just 50 employees, and most of us are engineers," the company stated in a blog post. "We’ve arrived at this point without spending a dollar on targeted ads or big marketing campaigns. We’re here because of all the people who share their WhatsApp stories with co-workers, friends, and loved ones – stories we love to hear."
Word of mouth, basically. To put this into perspective, Twitter has 232 million monthly active users. Over 16 billion messages are sent through WhatsApp each and every day, including 500 million images, according to Forbes
. That's 100 million more images than SnapChat
users receive on a daily basis, and Facebook recently tried to acquire
that company for $3 billion.