Mobile messaging startup WhatsApp continues to stand strong in the face of competition from some of the largest players in the communications industry. The company’s co-founder and CEO Jan Koum announced at a conference this week that WhatsApp now boasts 430 million active users, up from 200 million in April 2013. This achievement is all the more impressive considering the big names WhatsApp is competing with: Facebook, Skype and Apple, just to name a few.
Maybe it's part of WhatsApp's success that it doesn't have a big player behind it, but it might as well be the app's simple (some say ugly) design and its cross-platform functionality that makes it so appealing to its audience. Especially younger smartphone users have quickly adopted the service as a cheap alternative to texting.
Whatsapp currently handles an impressive 50 billion messages per day. The service also sees hundreds of millions of photo uploads every day, putting it far beyond the number of dedicated photo sharing services such as Instagram (55m photos per day).
Update: On February 19, Facebook announced that it had agreed to acquire WhatsApp for a total of $19 billion in chas and stock.