How and why WhatsApp grew to mean the world to its one billion users worldwide

What happens when one of world's most widely-used communication channel goes down? Virtual pandemonium! That is what happened when WhatsApp suffered a global outage on Friday for well over an hour.

By Shubhodeep Chak... | Updated: Nov 03, 2017, 16:10 PM IST
How and why WhatsApp grew to mean the world to its one billion users worldwide
Photo courtesy: Pixabay

New Delhi: What happens when one of world's most widely-used communication channel goes down? Virtual pandemonium! That is what happened when WhatsApp suffered a global outage on Friday for well over an hour.

The static single tick for messages sent frustrated users as these were not delivered. Office banter, social chit-chat, romantic flirtations and even important official communications halted. After all, WhatsApp is one of the most used means of personal and professional messaging. 

So what makes WhatsApp so crucial in today's world that an outage of around 60 minutes can have a global impact? Read on:

* Created by two former Yahoo employees - Brian Acton and Jan Koum - WhatsApp has grown from humble beginnings in 2009 to become the quickest-growing web-based messenger.

* Its growth story literally took off from the fourth year after it was launched. The app had added 419 million active monthly users - far more than Facebook (149 million), Gmail (123 million) and Twitter (54 million) after their first four years respectively, according to comscore.com data.

* Facebook officially bought Whatsapp in 2014 in a USD 19 billion deal.

* In 2015, WhatsApp introduced voice calling which further increased its popularity.

* In 2016, the company said it had grown to have 1.3 billion active monthly users.

* The company also said it had 1 billion active daily users who sent 55 billion messages, 4.5 billion photos and 1 billion videos.

* It currently supports over 60 languages and has plans of rolling out group video and group calling facility.

* India and South Africa are the two biggest user bases for the company.

* It remains a free service and is also free from ads.