When Facebook announced that it was planning to acquire WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion in February 2014, many people weren’t convinced of what WhatsApp could add to Facebook’s already impressive portfolio of social media and messaging apps.
At the time, WhatsApp had 465 million monthly active users (Facebook had 1.2 billion users back then) and while it was still growing, it wasn’t particularly popular in the United States. In hindsight, it looks as if Facebook swooped in at the right time, considering that WhatsApp’s user base has more than quadrupled since.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Wednesday, Will Cathcart, Facebook’s head of WhatsApp, revealed that the messaging app has surpassed 2 billion monthly active users. WhatsApp is only the second social media/messaging platform to pass that impressive milestone, with Facebook (2.5 billion MAUs) the other one.
While no one is questioning Facebook’s decision to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp for a total of $20 billion anymore, the world’s largest social media company is facing increased antitrust scrutiny, as many people think it has become too powerful. According to its latest earnings report, 2.26 billion (!) people open at least one of Facebook’s apps (Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram) each day, which is why some people argue that they should be broken up into separate entities.