Facebook's WhatsApp Crosses 2 Billion Users

Facebook's WhatsApp messaging service has increased its user base by 500 million users, or a third, in the past two years and has now crossed 2 billion users.
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Shares of Facebook (FB) - Get Report are higher after its WhatsApp messaging subsidiary said it had passed 2 billion users, an increase of a third from two years ago.

Six years after Facebook purchased the company for $19 billion, WhatsApp is the world's largest messaging platform. WhatsApp reported having 500 million users in 2014 when Facebook purchased the company.

“Private conversations that once were only possible face-to-face can now take place across great distances through instant chats and video calling," the company said in a blog post on Wednesday. 

In its message announcing the 2-billion-user milestone, the company touted its commitment to end-to-end encryption.

“Strong encryption is a necessity in modern life. We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe," WhatsApp said. 

"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.” 

While WhatsApp is clearly very popular, Facebook has not been able to monetize its popularity - yet. In November, the company launched a feature for small businesses that offers them a “mobile storefront” for advertising.

“Catalogs are a mobile storefront for businesses to showcase and share their goods, so people can easily browse and discover something they would like to buy,” the company said.

Facebook shares at last check were up 1.7% to $210.79.