India Becomes WhatsApp’s Biggest Market

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WhatsApp has hit 200 million monthly active users in India as the Facebook-owned service continues its dominance in developing markets.
India remains the biggest market for WhatsApp, which had 160 million active users in the country last November. Moving forward, Brian Acton, a founder of WhatsApp, said the company will explore ways to contribute to India’s vision for digital commerce.
WhatsApp is simple, secure, and its vision is in line with (the government initiative) Digital India, Acton said.
He’s on a one-day trip to the country, where he met India’s IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to talk about ways WhatsApp could further help empower people in rural and poor areas, as well as commercial messaging and mobile payments.
Last year the mobile wallet app Freecharge announced integration with WhatsApp that allows two users to exchange money with them.
WhatsApp competes with Hike, an instant messaging app from Kavin Bharti Mittal, son of Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder of India’s largest telecom operator Airtel.
Hike hasn’t shared how many active users it has, but early last year it said Hike had been downloaded more than 100 million times. Facebook’s marquee social media app had more than 155 million active users in the country as of late October last year.
Other companies have been looking at India, hoping to lure the world’s second largest internet market. Earlier this week, Microsoft announced a new version of Skype, called Skype Lite which is lighter and could work on slow internet speeds and on phones with less muscle power.
WhatsApp has its own challenges, too. It has been billed as one of the biggest sources for spreading of fake news and other misleading information in the country. But for now, its dominance in India remains unrivaled.

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