WhatsApp has quickly amassed another 500-million users in just 2 years and now has about 2-billion users, reports My Broadband.
This latest tally comes from the messaging service about 6 years since they were acquired by Facebook Inc. for $19-billion. This latest statistic solidly places WhatsApp as the largest messaging platform on Earth though with all of its users, it barely makes any money. The service has recently begun making plans to introduce ads to combat this.
WhatsApp was also just recently embroiled in legal clashes in Washington over its use of encryption. Facebook, its parent company, argues that encryption – which prevents anyone, including Facebook itself, from reading user’s messages – is good for the privacy of users. Washington argued that it also made law enforcement more difficult, as criminal behaviour flies under the radar.
WhatsApp uses a form of encryption known as end-to-end encryption, which only allows you and the person you’re chatting with see your messages. Business Today writes that the messages are “secured with locks, and only the recipient has the special key to unlock and read the messages.”
When WhatsApp is installed on the phone, the user receives a ‘private key’, and when the user messages another user, WhatsApp’s centralised servers send the message receiver a ‘public key’. Only with these two keys can anyone see the messages, unless you actually show people your phone.
“Strong encryption is a necessity in modern life,” according to a WhatsApp blog post. “We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe.”
Instagram and Facebook Messenger are also in the works receive encryption with Facebook working to encrypt all of their messaging services.