WhatsApp is “bigger than Twitter”, according to CEO Jan Koum, who revealed that the service now has more than 200m active users. Twitter’s last public milestone was also 200m users but Koum supported his argument by revealing at the Dive Into Mobile conference that WhatsApp users now receive 8bn inbound messages and send more than 12bn messages per day. Also celebrating some large numbers at Dive Into Mobile was Snapchat CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel, who claimed that 150m messages a day are now sent through the service, almost four times the 40m images Instagram processes every day.Read This Post
WhatsApp is not being sold Google despite reports of a $1bn acquisition, according to the messaging company’s business development head Neeraj Arora. Arora told AllThingsDigital that the company is not holding sales talks with Google, although he refused to elaborate further. He made the denial after a report in Digital Trends claimed that WhatsApp was “in the negotiating phase over prices with Google in what could be Google’s next billion dollar acquisition”, sending the rumour mill into overdrive.Read This Post
Messaging apps like Line, Kakao and WeChat may have started in Asia, but they are rapidly catching on worldwide, along with Western rivals like WhatsApp.
The Wall Street Journal has a good roundup of the space with some attention-grabbing stats. For example: Line has been downloaded 110m times; WhatsApp is processing 18bn messages a day from hundreds of millions of users; WeChat has 300m subscribers, and Kakao has around 82m.
One key point made in the piece is that all these apps are about more than just messaging: many are moving into gaming, offering new platforms for social games that sit completely separately from Facebook.Read This Post
WhatsApp is to extend its subscription model to its iOS app, charging $1 a year to use the messaging service. The company’s CEO Jan Koum told Dutch journalist Alexander Klopping (via TechCrunch) that the pricing model for iOS would change to follow those of its other apps: free for the first year then $1 a year hereafter. The iOS app currently costs $0.99 to download but is then free to use. “We’re relaxed on dates, but definitely this year. It’s on the road map,” Koum said.Read This Post
WhatsApp has launched a native app for BlackBerry 10, some three months after claiming it had no plans to support the OS. The app offers the standard WhatsApp features, as well as real-time push notifications that alert users when they receive messages, even when the device’s screen is locked.Read This Post
The Christmas spike in smartphone and tablet activations, as well as app downloads, is now well known. But the figures emerging from Christmas 2012 are still startling for their sheer scale.
We’ll start with Flurry, which has been publishing some stats based on the 260k apps running its analytics tools. It estimates that more than 50m iOS and Android devices were activated in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, with 17.4m of them activated on Christmas Day alone.
Meanwhile, Flurry also estimates that 1.76bn iOS and Android apps were downloaded in that final week of 2012, compared to a weekly average of 1.07bn earlier in December. But figures for WhatsApp, Minecraft, BBC iPlayer, Storm8 and Temple Run provide more depth on the festive spike.Read This Post
Apple may have delivered 300bn iMessages since the service debuted in autumn 2011 but WhatsApp is unlikely to be overly bothered, shifting roughly that amount in a month. In August WhatApp announced it had passed the 10bn message a day threshold, only nine months after passing the 1bn a day milestone. As BGR points out, WhatsApp in fact passed the 1bn a day mark round about the same time as iMessage made its debut, suggesting that even dedicated iPhone users need WhatsApp over and above iMessage, possibly as a result of their friends using WhatsApp or other platforms.Read This Post
Almost half of all smartphone owners use some form of instant messaging (IM) or over-the-top (OTT) messaging app, according to new research from Analysys Mason. The company’s new Consumer Smartphone Usage: Voice and Messaging Trends report find that 45% of smartphone owners use IM or OTT messaging apps, with WhatsApp unsurprisingly dominating the latter category. Meanwhile, 20% of consumers use a VoIP app, with Skype far and away the most popular. The – marginal – good news for telephone operators is that OTT and IM apps have not replaced traditional operator services: only 1.7% of respondents used IM/OTT messaging without using SMS, but 97% of panellists used SMS.Read This Post
You’ve probably already heard that the Nokia Lumia devices are getting an exclusive Angry Birds app, Roost. Now the company has revealed a further range of exclusive apps for Lumia, including offerings from Vimeo, Bloomberg, Groupon, WhatsApp and YouSendIt. In each case, the bespoke apps offer something exclusive for Lumia users, ranging from optimised design to whole new features. The Vimeo app, for example, is designed for use with Nokia’s camera optics and PureView technology, while the Bloomberg app will include features that use the new Live Tile customisations. “Our partnership with Nokia has resulted in a unique mobile experience that provides business executives with the essential news, market information and tools they need to make better informed decisions,” explains Bloomberg global head of mobile and connected devices Oke Okaro.Read This Post