Facebook’s WhatsApp popularity continues with 700 million active users, vows improvements

WhatsApp read receipts

WhatsApp, the huge messaging app owned by Facebook, announced on Tuesday that it now has 700 million monthly active users, making it one of the most popular networks on the entire web. The app, which allows users to send texts without paying for messaging plans through carriers, has reached its new milestone of 700 million active people by adding 100 million users since August.

Jan Koum, CEO of WhatsApp, announced the growth in a Facebook post on Tuesday, also revealing users send 30 billion messages per day. At 700 million active users, WhatsApp is more popular than Twitter and Facebook-owned Instagram.

“We’re grateful that so many of you are using WhatsApp to stay in touch with your friends and family, business colleagues and classmates,” Koum wrote.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a massive $19 billion in early 2014 and was seen as a way of the largest social network to gain a grasp in new regions. WhatsApp is popular in the Asia region, with India alone boasting a user base of more than 70 million. It’s available cross-platform, and allows users to seamlessly send images, video, and audio media messages. Locations can also be shared through the use of integrated mapping features.

WhatsApp didn’t detail how many of the 700 million active users are paying. For all phone types, WhatsApp is free to download and try for the first year. After, you have the option of extending your subscription for $0.99 USD per year. In many markets outside the United States, WhatsApp is much more viable due to the existence of daily SMS fees or per-SMS fees, which make texting much more costly.

“As humbled and excited as we are by these numbers and our continued growth, we’re even more excited to keep building a great product in 2015…We promise to continue working hard to make WhatsApp even better,” Koum wrote.