WhatsApp’s growth has been nothing short of impressive. Initially launched into beta in January 2009 by former Yahoo employees Brian Acton and Jan Koum, the communications app found an early following and by 2011, it was among the top 20 apps in the US App Store.
Serious money from investors started flowing in at that point, as did more users. In December of 2013, the startup said it had more than 400 million monthly active users. This helped attract the attention of potential suitors and in mid-February 2014, Facebook pulled the trigger, agreeing to acquire the company for a cool $16 billion.
It’s only been onward and upward for Facebook and WhatsApp since that point.
Facebook now owns and operates some of the world’s largest apps including the Facebook standalone app, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, the latter of which it scooped up for a bargain at just $1 billion in 2012.
Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging announced in a blog post today, up from 1.5 billion and 1 billion users in 2018 and 2016, respectively. That compares to 2.5 billion users for Facebook itself.