WhatsApp Balloons To 900 Million Active Monthly Users

Do you want to know why Facebook will avoid the same fate as MySpace? It's because Mark Zuckerberg and company have an uncanny ability to recognize big things in the making. This is underscored today by WhatsApp CEO and co-founder Jan Koum announcing on Facebook (where else?) that his instant messaging app now boasts 900 million users.

That's up from around 450 million users when Facebook acquired the service last year for a whopping $19 billion, including $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook shares, and another $3 billion in restricted stock units doled out to WhatsApp's staff members.


It seemed like a crazy sum at the time, and there are those who will still argue that Facebook overpaid. Perhaps it did, though if Facebook finds a way to monetize WhatsApp, which is fast approaching 1 billion users, it will have the last laugh.

WhatsApp is the world's largest messaging service, so it makes sense that it's paired with the world's biggest social playground. Wondering what the second largest messaging app is? Facebook Messenger (700 million users).

In other words, Zuckerberg has a stranglehold on the instant messaging market. It's like having the number one and number two draft picks in the NBA lottery, except these services have already proven themselves on the professional stage.

Can Zuckerberg squeeze money out of WhatsApp? His track record suggests he can -- he recently added photo and video ads to Instagram, which some analysts predict will bring in $5.8 billion in revenue in 2020, Mashable reports. MySpace never did anything like that.