WhatsApp crosses the two billion-mark in worldwide users

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 13, 2020

Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp on Wednesday announced that it had crossed the two billion-mark in active users across the globe.

“We are excited to share that, as of today, WhatsApp supports more than two billion users around the world,” the company said in an official blog post.

WhatsApp is the second app owned by the social media giant to cross the two billion-mark. The company’s Facebook app has 2.5 billion users worldwide, according to a TechCrunch report.

The total monthly users of Facebook-owned appstotal up to over 2.89 billion, with up to 9 per cent year-on-year growth, the report said.

WhatsApp, on the occasion, emphasised its strong encryption feature that protects user data.

“Strong encryption acts like an unbreakable digital lock that keeps the information you send over WhatsApp secure, helping protect you from hackers and criminals,” the company said in its official statement.

WhatsApp recently had been caught in a crossfire over the alleged state-sponsored hacking of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone by Saudi Arabia. According to media reports, Bezos’ phone was hacked through a vulnerability in the app’s video-sharing feature.

In an interview withBBC, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs & Communications, Nick Clegg alleged that it was a fault in the iOS and not Facebook-owned WhatsApp that was infected by the spyware, as WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted.

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov had slammed WhatsApp’s claims regarding its end-to-end encryption in a blog post.

Many countries, including India, have urged the messaging app to review its encryption feature.

Earlier in 2018, the Indian government had asked WhatsApp to set up a registered office in India and to appoint a grievance officer for quicker response and to prevent misuse of the app, as per earlier reports.

India accounts for over 400 million WhatsApp users being the platform’s largest market, according to a TechCrunch report.

The platformh as also received a go-ahead from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to roll out its payments service WhatsApp Pay in the country.

The app is one of the largest ad-free messaging platforms.

Facebook, in January, had made the decision to take a step back from its earlier plan to launch WhatsApp ads and focus on WhatsApp business to gain revenue instead, according to aWall Street Journalreport.

Facebook had acquired the messaging platform in 2014 for $19 billion.

Published on February 13, 2020

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