WhatsApp crosses the 500 million active user mark

On a personal note, Brian and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a small team of people who, in just under five years, built a communication service that now supports over 450 million monthly active users worldwide and over 320 million daily active users.”

Jan Koum, WhatsApp’s co-founder, wrote those words on the day Facebook announced it was buying the messaging startup for an astounding $19 billion.

Today, the company announced that it has crossed the 500 million active monthly user mark, who together share over 700 million photos and 100 million videos daily.

WhatsApp’s growth, slow in North America, is coming from regions like Brazil, India and Russia, according to the company. The simplicity of the app, coupled with the company’s aggressive tactics to have it pre-installed on many carrier-sold Android devices in Europe and Asia, means that the Facebook-owned entity has a significant geographic advantage over regional offerings like KakaoTalk, Line, WeChat and others.

The next step for WhatsApp is VoIP call integration, a natural evolution of the voice messaging feature it added last year.