Global smartphone messaging service WhatsApp confirmed on Tuesday that it has more than 200 million active users of its service every month. CEO Jan Koum refused to be more specific than that, but he did brag that his company has more monthly users than another prominent mobile company.
“We’re bigger than Twitter today,” he said at the Dive into Mobile conference. “More than 200 million active users monthly.”
Those people are also sending a lot of messages: WhatsApp users get 8 billion inbound messages per day and send over 12 billion per day.
The app, which is on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Symbian, came to prominence because it allows cross-platform messaging; it’s like if you could send an iMessage to anyone regardless of the mobile operating system they are using.
Koum said WhatsApp has a global focus and that the app is big everywhere, but he said that it is most popular in Germany, Spain, the Latin America region, Mexico, Singapore and Hong Kong.
He also addressed those pesky acquisition rumors that have dogged the company in the last month. In the past he’s denied them, and on Tuesday he expanded on those earlier comments. “Our goal is to build a sustainable independent company. We’re not building a company to sell,” he said. “We want to show the world you can build a business that’s not driven by advertising,” which he says the app will never have. The company instead charges 99 cents for its iOS app; the app is free on other platforms for one year, but $1.99 per year after.
However, he did avoid a question about whether there is a price at which they would sell, saying, “We don’t think about selling.”