WhatsApp for Android has been downloaded over five billion times on Android. The Facebook-owned messaging app is only the second non-Google app to achieve this milestone. As with most Android applications, the number is mainly composed of large amounts of installs for the application. This number, however, does not just include downloads from the Play Store. It also includes numbers from pre-installed copies of the application with devices from brands like Samsung and Huawei, reports Android Police. Facebook was the first non-Google app to reach the milestone.
According to Statista, WhatsApp is the most popular global mobile messenger app worldwide. It has approximately 1.6 billion monthly active users and outranked Facebook Messenger at 1.3 billion and WeChat at 1.1 billion users in 2019. Following Facebook and YouTube, it is the third most popular social network worldwide. South Korea has emerged as the fastest-growing market for WhatsApp on the Google Play Store. In 2019, downloads of the mobile messaging app increased almost 56 percent.
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Additionally, Google for the first time in five years, unseated Facebook as the top publisher of mobile apps. In the last quarter of 2019, Google amassed close to 850 million downloads compared to Facebook’s nearly 800 million, analytics firm Sensor Tower revealed recently. When it comes to overall downloads for the year, however, Google still trails behind Facebook. While Google raked in nearly 2.3 billion downloads, Facebook gained almost 3 billion downloads over the past 12 months.
Facebook owns four out of the top five most downloaded apps worldwide. It includes WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, that does not come as a surprise. ByteDance-owned video sharing app TikTok was the world’s second-most downloaded app in 2019. WhatsApp has managed to steer clear of its parent company’s image. The messaging service has stayed ahead of the curve by introducing new features like voice and video calling.
In 2020, WhatsApp is set to embrace dark mode and introduce a native dark theme for its users. The app is also set to get animated stickers feature. This will help the service compete with services like Hike and Telegram. The app is also expected to gain support for facial recognition as a biometric authentication soon. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Facebook has dropped plans to introduce ads in WhatsApp. However, we could see ads pop-up in the status feature sometime this year.
(Written with IANS inputs)