WhatsApp continues to dominate the world of messaging


OTT messaging giant WhatsApp, has reached over two billion users. The company announced the results on Wednesday stating the amount of subscribers was 1.5 billion at the end of 2017.

The mobile messaging app was founded in 2009 and after much success, was finally acquired by Facebook in 2014. The deal was valued at $19 billion and was the largest acquisition by the social media giant to date.

Despite its size, WhatsApp’s growth remains robust and is still increasing at a similar rate to previous years: It has gained 500 million new customers over the past two years.

WhatsApp’s best and somewhat recent feature, is its end-to-end encryption technology, which ensures that all contents in our chats are secured as a default. Not even WhatsApp themselves are able to read messages or listen to calls that take place among the participants of conversations, that is, according to the company’s blog posts.

But the encryption technology has received backlash across the world for mainly national security reasons. In India, where WhatsApp has more users than any other domestic messaging apps, the government has called for regulations that give it access to encrypted data. In Australia and the United Kingdom, there are also continuing discussions in regards to changing the laws so that access can be given when necessary.

In October last year, US Attorney General, William Barr, asked Facebook to delay its plans to encrypt messages on its platform and cited that information relating to terrorism and sex trafficking can be spread across encrypted messaging apps. Despite such pleas and requests, WhatsApp is extremely protective of its encryption technology. “We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe,” according to WhatsApp’s announcement on Wednesday. “For even more protection, we work with top security experts, employ industry leading technology to stop misuse as well as provide controls and ways to report issues — without sacrificing privacy.”