There’s no question that WhatsApp is big. But it’s not just big. According to WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, it’s even “bigger than Twitter.”
Koum spoke at AllThingsD‘s mobile conference today. He didn’t specify exact figures as far as overall usage, but he did confirm that the popular messaging app has now surpassed Twitter in number of active users. Twitter had more than 200 million monthly users as of December.
This, according to Koum, translates to an average of 8 billion inbound messages and 12 billion outbound messages a day.
There were recently circulating rumors that Google was going to gobble up WhatsApp (which later proved to be false), and Koum also reiterated that the company wants to remain independent and is not looking at being acquired.
The company will also not be introducing ads into its services and as we previously reported will be moving to a $0.99 USD per year business model for the application. This new change has not resulted in users jumping ship according to the CEO. A move to gaming support was also recently shot down. Koum said that WhatsApp’s business model differentiates it from other similar offerings on the market; only WhatsApp completely focuses on messaging.
“Mobile and messaging is the only thing we do,” he said. “It’s in our heart and in our blood and DNA.”
WhatsApp is also looking into text-message revenue sharing deals with carriers like Nimbuzz has done in Singapore — and more recently with India’s Airtel — and LINE has done in parts of Asia. This results in a new opportunity for financial gain by carriers, who will be able to more easily push data packages to consumers. WhatsApp has embraced a number of these carrier partnerships, including local data deals in India and access to a “roaming pass” with a partner in Hong Kong.
It’s certainly great to see WhatsApp staying true to its purpose and it’s well worth the low price of the app to be able to keep an ad-free messaging experience across all platforms.