Instant messaging service Whatsapp’s monthly active user base grows to 600 million.

Since its buyout by Facebook 6 months ago, the graph of WhatsApp has only gone upwards. Jan Koum, the CEO and founder of the app, tweeted that WhatsApp’s monthly active user base is now 600 million. That number has gone up by 150 million since February, when Facebook bought the app for a staggering $19 billion.

whatsapp reaches 600 million

WhatsApp is a 5-year-old multi-platform instant messaging app which uses the internet to send texts, photos, videos and other media. It was created by Jan Koum, who sold it to Facebook in February 2014 for $19 billion in cash and other stock options. At the time of the deal with Facebook, WhatsApp had about 450 million active monthly users.

The deal has been approved by the Federal Trade Commission, but Facebook still needs to get international regulatory approval before the deal can be sealed.

The service is free for the first year, but users are charged $1 for every year after that. This makes WhatsApp more popular than SMS for users in emerging markets.

Since its inception in 2009, many other instant messaging apps have sprung up – the most popular one being WeChat – but none of them have been able to come close to WhatsApp’s prowess. Earlier this month, WeChat claimed it had 438 million active users.

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