WhatsApp could be considered as among the pioneers in the messaging app space. Its total users have now reached 430 million. That means it is continuously being downloaded in more smartphones. In December, its active users were around 400 million.
During the recent DLD conference held in Munich, Germany, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum spoke his mind out about the messaging app and about its competitors. To begin with, he reiterated that WhatsApp is more about getting ‘focus.’
Despite the arrival of more new rivals like WeChat, Line, SnapChat, and KakaoTalk, WhatsApp reiterated that it would stick to its forte. Mr. Koum declared that the app would continue to avoid advertising. He added that the service would continue to stay away from disappointing ‘gimmicks’ like disappearing games and photos (obviously referring to SnapChat).
In a firm statement, he said WhatsApp would continue to have its users to keep paying for the use of the service as a ‘basic business model.’ The app used to be a paid service but is now offered as a free download. However, its users would have to pay $0.99 per year to continue using it a year after the download.
With over 430 million active users (and still counting), WhatsApp is remaining positive on its outlook. To date, the service claims to facilitate sending of up to 50 billion messages within the system on a daily basis. That is practically rivaling SMS volumes.
Mr. Koum reiterated that WhatsApp would remain its focus on messaging. He reminded users that if they want to play games, they could simply opt for many other apps and Websites. He also clarified that the service would not in any way rely on advertising. WhatsApp would remain as a ‘free market.’
Keeping its focus
About the service’s profitability, Mr. Koum simply said that as of now, monetization is not the focus of WhatsApp. But he stated that it would someday focus on it. For now, the messaging service app wants to make sure it would be an app that truly works.
The company also plans to keep its scale. It presently employs 50 people, 25 of those are engineers and the other 20 are focusing on customer support (in various languages). Mr. Koum admitted that WhatsApp is extremely small but he reiterated that it is how he wants it to be.
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