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WhatsApp Crosses 2 Billion Active Users, CEO Says Encryption Will be Retained

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Last Updated: February 12, 2020, 20:39 IST

WhatsApp Crosses 2 Billion Active Users, CEO Says Encryption Will be Retained

The milestone now means that WhatsApp is actively used by over one quarter of the entire world's population.

WhatsApp, the massively popular communications application, has announced that it has crossed 2 billion active users of its service globally. Previous estimates had expected WhatsApp to cross the figure of 2 billion monthly active users of its service in April 2020, a target that the Facebook owned service appears to have met comfortably. In line with the milestone, WhatsApp has published a post on its official blog, stating that it will continue with its focus on privacy and end to end encryption, which will also hopefully mature into efforts to curb spam and fake information on the platform.

WhatsApp chief executive Will Cathcart has highlighted the aspect of privacy in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, stating that the company will continue to defend the use of end-to-end encryption on messages exchanged on its platform. Detailing the same via a blog post, WhatsApp says, "Strong encryption acts like an unbreakable digital lock that keeps the information you send over WhatsApp secure, helping protect you from hackers and criminals. Messages are only kept on your phone, and no one in between can read your messages or listen to your calls, not even us."

It further added, "Strong encryption is a necessity in modern life. We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe. For even more protection, we work with top security experts, employ industry leading technology to stop misuse as well as provide controls and ways to report issues — without sacrificing privacy."

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    It has taken roughly two years for WhatsApp to add its latest 500,000 users, after it hit the milestone of 1.5 billion users back in 2017. With 2 billion users now using WhatsApp, the messaging service is now being used by over one quarter of the entire world's population, thereby underlining its popularity. This further highlights the importance of WhatsApp to focus on its quality of service, and devise more ways to curb aspects such as the spread of misinformation on its platform. The company has taken active stances against spam and cyber bullying on its platform, introducing tools such as restricted group invites and forwarded labels, through 2019.

    Going forward, it will be interesting to see when does WhatsApp hit its next milestone in its user base, and what steps does it further adopt in the face of increasing pressure from multiple governments to build backdoors into its service. As of now, WhatsApp users across the world can expect an upcoming overhaul of the interface, as the company works on implementing the in-trend Dark Mode to its chat interface.