WHATSAPP AND GMAIL both announced overnight that they now have a billion members, which means that a seventh of the world's population are using the services.
News of WhatsApp hitting the one billion user milestone was lauded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is likely to be rubbing his hands together at the thought of how much data he'll be able to get his grubby mitts on.
"One billion people now use WhatsApp. Congrats to Jan [Koum], Brian [Acton] and everyone who helped reach this milestone!" Zuckerberg said.
"WhatsApp's community has more than doubled since joining Facebook. We’ve added the ability for you to call loved ones far away. We've dropped the subscription fee and made WhatsApp completely free. Next, we're going to work to connect more people around the world and make it easier to communicate with businesses.
"There are only a few services that connect more than a billion people. This milestone is an important step towards connecting the entire world."
WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum said in a post on Facebook that 42 billion messages, 1.6 billion photos and 250 million videos are shared every day on the platform, adding that there are now over one billion groups on the service.
WhatsApp's announcement came just moments after Google revealed that Gmail had also hit the one billion user mark.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai shared the news with investors and media during Alphabet's Q4 2015 earnings call on Monday, adding that Gmail hit the milestone in the past quarter.
This is the seventh Google service with a billion users, joining Search, Chrome, Android, Google Play, Maps and YouTube.
Pichai also said that smart replies, Gmail's automatically generated suggested responses feature, account for 10 percent of email replies through the mobile app.
Alphabet's market cap rose to around $570m following the earnings call, compared with Apple's $538bn, making it the world's most valuable company.
source: the INQUIRER
By: Carly Page