WhatsApp is celebrating the 400 million active users mark, all obtained without spending a single dollar on advertising.

WhatsApp, the most popular free messaging app, has crossed 400 million users mark without spending chunks of money like rivals, and hopes to attain 500 million users in 2015.

The news comes directly from the official blog of the service stating, “Today, we’re proud to announce that because of you, WhatsApp has reached a milestone that no other mobile messaging service has achieved: 400 million monthly active users, with 100 million active users added in the last four months alone.”

In its discussion, WhatsApp strongly emphasize on how without spending a single dollar on marketing campaigns, it has achieved 400 million active users — the real members using the service actively — and this substantially differs WhatsApp from names such as WeChat or Line. In short, the importance of the enormous community is achieved by adding each piece with the utmost ease and the power of the word of mouth.

A free messaging service, run by just 50 employees — mostly engineers — and the cost of which is now a sort of myth halfway between the free and the formula for a fee, with all kinds of urban legends circulating on the way of hoaxes and scams. But that’s part of the game and the success of the messenger on iOS, Android and Windows Phone has contributed to build a more and more extensive community, as in October it reached 350 million users and is now counting 50 million in just a two-month period.

The War of the messenger apps has a huge economic importance of relief. First, it dismounted the root of the SMS market, hen that lays golden eggs of telcos worldwide. In addition, the strong competition between the new players in the sector clearly shows interest in messaging, to build such large and cohesive community.

400 million users are, therefore, an important new milestone and gives WhatsApp valid reason to celebrate. With the shadow of an assignment on the horizon for some time now, and with a rampant growth that persists over time, it’s difficult to imagine what the fate of the service is in the long run. In short, it’s evident that the business model is destined to change, grow and be structured on the basis of new guidelines. The ambition is to grow inevitably.

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