Feb 6, 2018
By Dave Avran
If you’ve had any doubts about the success of WhatsApp, this latest news should prove just how popular it’s become.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the WhatsApp service now has 1.5 billion monthly active users.
What is probably even more impressive is that these record numbers of users send a staggering 60 billion messages every day.
Facebook bought WhatsApp back in 2014 for US$19 billion and that investment appears to have been worth every penny.
Along with WhatsApp’s success, Zuckerberg also revealed that Facebook-owned Instagram is now the most popular story-sharing product in the world.
According to the latest figures, Instagram Stories now has around 300 million daily active users, compared to some 178 million who opt for rival service Snapchat.
The release of these huge numbers comes as WhatsApp recently revealed another record.
The messaging firm said it saw 75 billion messages sent across the service on New Year’s Eve 2018.
That number eclipses any other day in WhatsApp’s history with the previous record of 65 million on New Year’s Eve 2017 well and truly smashed.
WhatsApp says that of the 75 billion messages sent, 13 billion were photos and five billion included videos.
As well as WhatsApp having a record night, its owners Facebook also revealed some big statistics.
In a blog post on their website, Product Manager Erin Connolly, revealed that Facebook Live saw a huge increase in activity.
New Year’s Eve 2018 topped last year’s live broadcast activity; with people sharing 47 per cent more live videos than last year.
People were excited to count down to 2018 with friends — wherever they were around the globe.
Connolly said “We saw more than 3 times as many broadcasts with a friend on New Year’s Eve compared to an average day in December, making it the biggest day so far for Live With.”
In other WhatsApp news the firm has just pushed-out a substantial update to the iPhone version of its hugely-successful messaging app.
On the iTunes App Store, the description for the new update revealed that it contained “Bug Fixes”.
However, that description undersells the WhatsApp update, which contains a number of nifty fixes and features.
The new version of WhatsApp on iOS – version 2.18.2 – has added support for Apple’s in-vehicle connectivity system, CarPlay.
Until now, WhatsApp access was only possible via Siri while driving.
WhatsApp are also working on a new feature that lets you prioritise certain notifications, so you get to see the alerts you truly want to.
The new ‘Notification Channel’ system has ten separate categories which you can control individually.
These are: Group Notifications, Message Notifications, Chat History Backup, Critical App Alerts, Failure Notifications, Media Playback, Uncategorised, Other Notifications, Sending Media, and Silent Notifications.
Each category has different options, with users able to turn notifications off for that category, or give them differing levels of importance.
Urgent messages make sounds and pop up on the screen, high priority makes a sound, medium priority make no sound and low priority has no sound or visual alerts.
WhatsApp users can therefore decide what sound their notification makes, and whether the alerts appear on your lock screen or not.