WhatsApp announced back in December 2013 that it had reached 400 million active users on all platforms that the service offered its features. Beginning this month, WhatsApp Messenger has more than 500 million users who are taking advantage of its features all around the globe.
In an interview for Recode, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said that his company would celebrate by providing users with new updates that would fix some of the bugs that still affect the mobile applications, “We’re going to get our engineers together and fix a lot of bugs.”
The company has confirmed that it has grown faster in countries such as India, Russia, Mexico and Brazil and that its users are also sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos each day.
As many of you probably already know, WhatsApp announced back in February, during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014 trade fair, that it would add a new major feature in the coming months and that was free voice calls.
The new feature will be initially launched on Android and iOS platforms, followed soon by other mobile operating systems. Aside from free voice calls, WhatsApp did not announce any other new feature for its instant messaging service. Instead, the company prefers to focus on keeping its apps as bug-free as possible.
“We don’t have anything huge we’ve changed in our last six months, but we’ve had probably 1,000 little bug fixes and improvements,” said Koum.
In order to show their dedication to the soon-to-be-Facebook-owned business, both WhatsApp’s Co-founders, Brian Acton and Jan Koum, spent last week answering customer support emails and getting feedback from their users.
According to them, the procedure is vital for their future updates, as the necessary tweaking and bug squashing is also done at the request of WhatsApp users.
“I worry about how to offer a competitive set of features without making the UI difficult, the user experience worse, the application bloated. These screens are small. There’s a limited amount of memory and bandwidth. It’s just all about focus,” added Koum.
Another interesting approach for WhatsApp’s business model is to try to hire people that offer support to users in their native language.
Koum claims that his company plans on offering support in as many languages as possible, and that means hiring additional staff, which doesn’t seem to bother the company’s CEO at all.
It looks like WhatsApp users, regardless of their choice of mobile platform, should expect more updates that will continue to refine the application and make it as fast and as user friendly as possible.