Cross-platform messaging app WhatsApp now bigger than Twitter, still touts 'no ads' mantra

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In an interview at the D: Dive Into Mobile on Tuesday, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said his company's platform is now bigger that ubiquitous microblogging service Twitter and now handles some 20 billion messages per day.

Jan Koum
WhatsApp CEP Jan Koum speaking at D: Dive Into Mobile. | Source: AllThingsD


While Koum wouldn't give specific metrics, as WhatsApp concentrates more on relative success than hard numbers, he did say that the firm's engagement currently exceeds that of Twitter's 200 million active monthly users, reports AllThingsD.

The executive did offer data on daily messaging, however, saying that http://appleinsider.com/l/?link=https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/whatsapp-messenger/id310633997?mt=8WhatsApp sees 20 billion messages per day. Koum noted that the statistics had to be broken down into incoming and outgoing messages, as users can send the same message to five different people in a group chat session. Overall, the service sees about 8 billion incoming and 12 billion outgoing messages per day.

Being installed on millions of smartphones, and available on all major platforms like iOS, Android and Windows Phone, WhatsApp has a huge opportunity to take advantage of its user base by implementing ads. But Koum said that will never happen.

?We do have a manifesto opposing advertising,? Koum said. ?We?re proud of that. Who likes advertising? We?re so bombarded with ads so much in our daily lives and we felt that smartphones aren?t the place for that. Our phones are so intimately connected to us, to our lives. Putting advertising on a device like that is a bad idea. You don?t want to be interrupted by ads when you?re chatting with your loved ones.?

Earlier in the talk, he gave examples of usage scenarios. Some may leverage the platform to stay connected to loved ones across the globe, while others use group chat to set up pick-up basketball games. As Koum said, WhatsApp is a modern-day communications tool, which is made more effective given its cross-platform capabilities.



For the foreseeable future, WhatsApp intends to stay ad free and will rely on the existing annual fee structure of about $1 per year. Currently, the iOS app is the only version not to have recurring fees, with users paying a $0.99 one-time fee for lifetime access. That is soon to change, however, as the company announced in March the iOS version will become subscription-based by the end of 2013. Existing users will be grandfathered into the new pay structure.

?Our monetization strategy is simple," Koum said. "One dollar a year. If we did something besides that, it would just get in the way. [?] We want a great product and great user experience.?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    I've never heard of it beyond the articles on AI. And Twitter's everywhere… That's astounding.

  • Reply 2 of 23
    msimpsonmsimpson Posts: 452member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I've never heard of it beyond the articles on AI. And Twitter's everywhere… That's astounding.



     


    Same here.  Never heard of them before this week.  Now I don't load my iPhone up with every free app that comes along, so maybe I missed it


     


    12 billion outgoing SPAM messages per day?

  • Reply 3 of 23
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    It's not only cross-platform but cross-crapform. They [I]literally[/I] include ever horrible UI design they could possibly think of¡
  • Reply 4 of 23
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by msimpson View Post


     


    Same here.  Never heard of them before this week.  Now I don't load my iPhone up with every free app that comes along, so maybe I missed it


     


    12 billion outgoing SPAM messages per day?



    I don't know WhatsApp either but you are assuming it is bad in spite of the guy saying all the right things (in my book). Their business model is refreshing - no ads, one buck a year - who's complaining. As they say on their website "Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we dont need."  (come on - who can tell me where that quote's from... and no looking)


     


    Anybody ever used WhatsApp?

  • Reply 5 of 23
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    paxman wrote: »
    I don't know WhatsApp either but you are assuming it is bad in spite of the guy saying all the right things (in my book). Their business model is refreshing - no ads, one buck a year - who's complaining. As they say on their website "Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we dont need."  (come on - who can tell me where that quote's from... and no looking)

    Anybody ever used WhatsApp?

    1) You make some good points. I still think it's ugly as sin but I like how they conducting business.

    2) I'm going to say that from FIght Club when Tyler Durden is sitting with with the Narrator at the bar when they first get together. edit: Doh! I should have just kept it simple.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I've never heard of it beyond the articles on AI. And Twitter's everywhere… That's astounding.



     


    Really? It's been the number 1 paid app on the iTunes store for about the past two years.

  • Reply 7 of 23
    ziadjkziadjk Posts: 52member
    I don't know much about design, so I can't comment on the UI design comment above, but Whatsapp is a great messaging app. I know more people that use it than iMessage.
    It's fast, reliable, and connects me to my family membesr across the world, regardless of device (iPhone, blackberry, android), and it's only a dollar!

    As for the "12 billion spam messages per day" comment, no that's not true. Besides the occasional happy new year/Easter/etc mass message that one uncle sends every now and then, I've received zero spam. Zero.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    ziadjk wrote: »
    It's fast, reliable, and connects me to my family membesr across the world, regardless of device (iPhone, blackberry, android), and it's only a dollar!

    The reliable bit puts it above iMessages.
  • Reply 9 of 23
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    Bigger than Twitter? One of a messaging service, the other a micro blogging social network. They are completely unrelated. A comparison between the two is meaningless.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,160member


    WhatsApp is extremely popular around the world. I use it on a daily basis with friends who live in Europe and Asia. I have no issues with the UI. 

  • Reply 11 of 23
    undedunded Posts: 43member
    My peers and I use WhatsApp more than iMessage because WhatsApp time tags every messages which is very important for the group. Also the cross playform is nice so we can still communicate with folks who stubornly use Android just because they don't like Apple because it's Apple.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    65c81665c816 Posts: 133member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by msimpson View Post


     


    Same here.  Never heard of them before this week.  Now I don't load my iPhone up with every free app that comes along, so maybe I missed it


     


    12 billion outgoing SPAM messages per day?



    Seriously?  You don't like it, so it's spam?  These are messages from people in your contact list.  So, if you think it's spam, maybe you're adding the wrong people to your address book?

  • Reply 13 of 23
    65c81665c816 Posts: 133member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    It's not only cross-platform but cross-crapform. They literally include ever horrible UI design they could possibly think of¡


    Really?  At first glance, it looks very similar to iMessage.  

  • Reply 14 of 23
    I was forced by my brothers overseas who are on corporate Blackberrys. Otherwise, I will not touch it forever. Ugly UI and terrible implementation. Service-wise is okay but it is like using Windows 1.0 That was where those guys from. I would imagine when they design the app for iOS, they would follow Apple UIG but no....
  • Reply 15 of 23
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    65c816 wrote: »
    Really?  At first glance, it looks very similar to iMessage.  

    I don't think so.

    1000
  • Reply 16 of 23
    crossladcrosslad Posts: 492member
    No ads - at least until Scroogle take it over.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    copelandcopeland Posts: 298member


    Never going to use it because of their rotten privacy policy. I'd like to keep my private data private.


     


    https://www.google.at/search?q=whatsapp+privacy+concerns&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:de:official&client=firefox-a

     

  • Reply 18 of 23
    3eleven3eleven Posts: 87member


    I installed it the other day and out of all my contacts I had three people that used it. Of those three people only one had logged in within the last two months.

  • Reply 19 of 23
    65c81665c816 Posts: 133member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by copeland View Post


    Never going to use it because of their rotten privacy policy. I'd like to keep my private data private.


     


    https://www.google.at/search?q=whatsapp+privacy+concerns&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:de:official&client=firefox-a

     



    http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/01/29/whatsapps-privacy-investigated-by-joint-canadian-dutch-probe/


     


    One of the links I saw was this.  Sounds like they are taking care of it.

  • Reply 20 of 23
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    1) You make some good points. I still think it's ugly as sin but I like how they conducting business.

    2) I'm going to say that from FIght Club when Tyler Durden is sitting with with the Narrator at the bar when they first get together. edit: Doh! I should have just kept it simple.
    You either are a Fightclub fan / afficianado, or you have a very good memory. Unless you cheated of course... ;)
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