Mobile-only messaging service, WhatsApp has crossed 60 million monthly active users in India, WhatsApp’s Neeraj Arora told BGR India in an exclusive chat. Earlier in May, the service had 50 million monthly active users in India, which means it has added 10 million users in slightly over three months or at a rate of approximately 3 million new monthly active users a month. “India is one of the fastest growing markets,” Arora said.
WhatsApp had crossed 500 million monthly active users globally back in April but it hasn’t announced any new global numbers since then. The service now has a tie-up with six carriers in India. The growth might sound slower than what it was doing in the first half of the year, but Arora says the monthly active users are actually closer to 65 million and insists that WhatsApp’s growth rate is actually increasing.
WhatsApp had earlier announced it would launch a voice calling service in the second quarter of the year but the project seems to have run into delays. Arora says that they are still working on it but don’t have a launch timeline to announce at the moment.
Over-The-Top services like WhatsApp, Viber and others have irked carriers in India as they eat into their voice and more profitable messaging revenues. Regulatory body TRAI has said it would issue a consultation paper on the topic.
As per the process, TRAI consults public before framing any recommendation for a new sectoral policy. The regulator then sends its recommendations to government for policy formulation. After this, it is government’s prerogative whether to form a policy or new rule based on TRAI’s recommendation.