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WhatsApp tops 1 billion users

WhatsApp tops 1 billion users

WhatsApp has topped the 'one billion users' mark for the first time, laying bare just how fast the Facebook–owned messaging tool has outstripped its rivals to become the go–to service for group texting and calling.

Last month, its founder Jan Koum revealed that the service was ditching its annual $1 subscription fee.

Koum said at the time he had hoped to confirm that the service had reached a billion users when he unveiled plans to kill off subscriptions.

WhatsApp has not said when it hopes to reach two billion users, just that it wants to focus on maintaining the "speed, reliability, security and simplicity" of its service.

However, having brought an end to its old model of asking users to pay, it is likely to see numbers soar in developing countries over the next year.

The aim of ending subscriptions was to boost WhatsApp’s presence in places where smartphone owners don’t always have the means to pay fees electronically.

The end of fees did raise some concerns as to whether WhatsApp would begin targeted advertising.

Koum shot such suggestions down, though, saying his focus was on offering businesses the chance to let customers contact them via the service.



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