WhatsApp reaches 500 Million users!

Whatsapp & Facebook

Popular IM service WhatsApp has reached the 500 million users milestone. And it’s not just the total number of users the service has but active users who use the service regularly.

This comes shortly after the company was acquired by Facebook, although WhatsApp had a healthy 450 million users at the time of acquisition. The majority of the growth comes from countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, with India alone having 48 million WhatsApp users.


One of the reason the service is so popular in developing nations is sheer number of platforms the service is available on, which includes iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Symbian and S40, unlike many other services that are only available on iOS and Android.

The service has remained unaltered since the Facebook acquisition and is expected to remain that way.

Facebook is buying WhatsApp for $19 billion!

Facebook has announced this afternoon that it has reached a deal to acquire WhatsApp, the makers of the popular cross-platform messaging app, for a staggering $16 billion. That’s $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion in Facebook shares.

The social network says that WhatsApp will continue to operate independently after the acquisition, but claims the deal with WhatsApp—who has nearly 500 million users—”accelerates Facebook’s ability to bring connectivity and utility to the world.”

From the press release:

“Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp, a rapidly growing cross-platform mobile messaging company, for a total of approximately $16 billion, including $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares. The agreement also provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.

The acquisition supports Facebook and WhatsApp’s shared mission to bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core internet services efficiently and affordably. The combination will help accelerate growth and user engagement across both companies. 

“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”

The company also provided some WhatsApp growth stats:

  • Over 450 million people using the service each month;
  • 70% of those people active on a given day;
  • Messaging volume approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume; and
  • Continued strong growth, currently adding more than 1 million new registered users per day.

Additionally, Facebook says that it will be paying WhatsApp a $1 billion break-up fee if the acquisition some how falls through, and it will be hosting a conference call at 3PM PST today to discuss further details. You can listen in on that call by clicking here.

Admittedly, $16 billion (potentially $19 billion) sounds like a crazy amount for a messaging app—especially compared to the $3 billion that Facebook reportedly offered Snapchat last year. But not many services boast an active user base of half-a-billion.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this. If you want to see what WhatsApp is all about, you can find it in the App Store here.

Talking Tom Cat apps are bigger than Twitter!

Earlier this month, Twitter revealed that it now has 184m monthly active mobile users. That puts it 46m behind the antics of a cartoon cat and his animal friends.

App developer Outfit7 says its Talking Tom and Friends apps now have 230m monthly active users across iOS, Android and Windows Phone. The apps have been downloaded more than 1.5bn times since the launch of the first, Talking Tom Cat, in June 2010.

The company says its monthly active user count is up 35% in the last four months, which is likely due to the release in November 2013 of My Talking Tom, a free-to-play game starring the squeaky feline character. That game was downloaded 27m times in its first month on the app stores.

Outfit7 has released 14 of the apps, recently rebranding the series from Talking Friends to Talking Tom and Friends, to reflect the popularity of its main character. The series reached 100m downloads in April 2011,360m by March 2012, and 1bn by June 2013, at which point the apps had 170m monthly active users.

The developer has also followed a similar strategy to other character-based mobile game hits like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope by expanding into toys and online video. Outfit7 worked with Disney on a series of 12 Talking Friends videos that have been watched more than 408m times on YouTube, including 151m times alone for music video You Get Me.

“Talking Tom and Friends is one of the only global brands to achieve download billionaire status, while also being strong in both entertainment and games,” said Outfit7 chief operating officer Alessandro Traverso in a statement, following the new milestones. “The development of our TV series demonstrates the global appetite for a property that is, at its core, true interactive entertainment.”

The company’s apps have courted controversy in their rise to success, however. In October 2012, ads for payday lender Wonga were found in the Talking Ginger app, while in February 2013, an ad promoting a contest to win an iPad led users to a £4-a-week mobile content subscription service.

Meanwhile, My Talking Tom upped the ante on Outfit7’s use of in-app purchases, selling virtual coins in quantities worth up to £69.99 at a time. The Talking Tom and Friends apps aren’t just for kids, but they have a massive audience of children – the key target for the company’s video and merchandise activities.

“There are a lot of things changing from the legal perspective, in the US and EU, and our plans are to be the leaders and not the followers in terms of implementing all the changes requested by COPPA and the EU,”chief executive Samo Login told The Guardian last year.

“We will be one of the first companies that will be prepared for that, because we believe we should be an example. We have a huge user-base among kids, and we can’t afford to take that lightly.”

The Top Apps And Games To Get You Started With Your New Smartphone This Christmas!

The wrapping paper is strewn across the floor, the shrink-wrap is but a memory, the packaging has been burst open, and your new Christmas smartphone is finally in your hand. Once the SIM card is in, you’ve logged onto the internet, and tested all the built-in apps, what happens next? It’s time to get your smartphone really flying, and head off to the App Store for some applications! But which ones?

There’s a huge amount of choice in the various stores, no matter the smartphone platform you’ve picked up. If you need a little bit of advice, here are some App Store picks for iOS, Windows Phone, and Android, to get you started on your merry way. Even though each platforms has a different focus, the third-party app scene has many common releases over the ecosystems, and there are some titles that are almost ‘must-haves’.

Consider these recommendations a starter pack before you set out to explore the stores on your own.

First up, lets check that you’ve got your social media tools either installed or up to date. While some of the built-in apps on your smartphone integrate with the social networks (and in the case of Windows Phone, integrate especially well), to make the most of your online activity you’ll want to grab the official clients for Facebook (iOS, Android, Windows Phone), Twitter (iOSAndroidWindows Phone), Instagram (iOSAndroidWindows Phone), and Tumblr (iOSAndroidWindows Phone). That should cover the majority of your online interactions on Christmas Day. Other social networks are available, and a quick search in the App Stores for Linked In, 500px, Flickr, WordPress, and Foursquare should round out your online world.

Gaming is a major part of the modern smartphone, and it’s here that Windows phone has the daddy of them all. Halo: Spartan Assault is a Windows Phone exclusive that take the sprawling and expansive world of Halo from the first person perspective on the home consoles into an isometric-like top down twin stick shooter for Windows Phone. It’s graphically impressive, fast, challenging, and shows Microsoft’s mobile platform at its best.

Gameloft posts first teaser trailer for Modern Combat 5

Modern Combat 5 teaser video & great name debate

So far we have had Modern Combat Sandstorm, Modern Combat 2 Black Pegasus, then there was Domination and MC 3 Fallen Nation, and the 4th instalment was Zero Hour. Today we have some great news about Modern Combat 5 that is now being teased before E3.

FPS (First Person Shooter) fans will be happy to know the Modern Combat 5 teaser video is now here and you can watch the clip below this article.

Modern Combat 5 teaser video & the name debate

This is the next chapter that will blow you away, the video looks awesome and we will be installing this app as soon as it releases. This is one of the best shooter franchises ever to release on both iOS and Android platforms.

This exclusive trailer does not give anything away really other than being huge, it has been said the story line is immense and any Modern Combat fan will most definitely want it. This game is getting so much closer to the graphics and gameplay status as the Call of Duty games.

After watching the video it proves that helicopters, boats, more weapons, better visuals and superb missions will be amazing. We are dribbling right now and cannot wait, hopefully more will be revealed at E3, which starts on June 11 to the 13 in Los Angeles.

The Modern Combat 5 name debate
No one knows what the name will be as of yet, many forums are saying it will called “Last War” but we are not too sure. This name is not set in stone and as far as we can tell and only showing up in forums, it might simply be called Modern Combat 5 with no name at the end.

What do you think the full name will be on Modern Combat 5?