WhatsApp passes one billion users mark for the first time

The messaging application was bought by Facebook in 2014 in a $19bn deal

whatsapp, billion, users, messaging, smartphone,

Image: Patrick Sison / AP/Press Association Images

Messaging application WhatsApp has passed one billion users for the first time.

The company used a blog post to reveal that almost one in seven people on the planet now uses the service every month.

In their post, the company wrote that "even as we celebrate this achievement, our focus remains the same. Every day, our team continues to work to improve WhatsApp's speed, reliability, security and simplicity.

"We're excited to see how far we've come. But now, it's back to work – because we still have another 6 billion people to get on WhatsApp, and a long way left to go," they add.

The app was bought by Facebook in 2014 in a deal reported to have been worth an estimated $19bn. Since then, the number of people using WhatsApp has doubled.

Last month WhatsApp announced that it would no longer charge any subscription fees, with some users having previously had to pay a fee for using the messaging app after their first year.

They have also vowed not to introduce third-party ads, and are set to introduce tools allowing users to communicate with businesses or groups of their choosing.