A product isn’t a real business for Mark Zuckerberg until it has at least a billion users. During Facebook’s third-quarter earnings call in 2014, Zuckerberg stated ”This may sound a little ridiculous to say, but for us, products don’t really get that interesting to turn into businesses until they have about 1 billion people using them.” Look and see who is currently in the three-comma club and who is up-and-coming.
On Monday, one of the social network’s sister apps just got “interesting” — WhatsApp passed the 1,000,000,000-user mark.
It’s a coveted milestone that very few apps and platforms ever reach.
WhatsApp: Used by one-seventh of the earth’s population.
On Monday, the Facebook-owned messaging app announced it had a billion active users,nearly one-seventh of the world’s population.
WhatsApp’s big news, interestingly, came out right after Google’s parent company, Alphabet, announced quarterly earnings — which beat analysts’ expectations and sent the stock soaring.
“But now, it’s back to work,” WhatsApp said in a blog post, “because we still have another 6 billion people to get on WhatsApp, and a long way left to go.”
Facebook Groups: The billion-user app that’s still a bit of a secret.
Facebook Groups is another Facebook product with more than a billion users. It announced it had passed that milestone in late January 2016. It’s available as a standalone app and is also accessible via the main website.
Gmail: Probably the best all-around email product, ever.
Google’s incredibly popular email service passed the billion-user mark recently. The search giant announced the news on its earning call earlier this week.
Chrome: The people’s browser.
Google Chrome is the most popular web browser in the world — and in May it joined the billion-user club.
Android: 1.4 billion people who didn’t buy an iPhone.
Google most recently provided a figure for its Android mobile operating system inSeptember; back then, it had 1.4 billion 30-day active users.
Google Play: The biggest app store.
Google Play, Google’s Android app store, alsohas a billion users. It’s less than the total number of active Android users, though, because not all Android-powered devices come with Google Play services installed.
YouTube: A third of everyone on the internet uses YouTube every day.
Google says YouTube, its video-streaming site, also has more than a billion users — “almost a third of all people on the internet — and every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube videos and generate billions of views.”
Windows: Now in its 30th year.
Windows, Microsoft’s operating system, has about 1.5 billion users (across various versions), according to Time.
Microsoft Office: The workhorse of the software world.
Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools has a combined 1.2 billion users, Time reports.
Facebook: 1 billion users *daily.*
Facebook’s core social network has 1.6 billion monthly active users — and more than a billion users who log on every day.
Television: The recently dethroned king.
Don’t forget TV! At least 1.4 billion households around the world have televisions — and that’s households, not people, meaning the total number of people it reaches will be much higher.
Seventy-nine percent of all households globally have TVs. And of those, 1 billion households had digital televisions as of June.
Google Search: 3 billion searches each day.
Before Google built its galaxy of products, there was Google Search. It’s not clear exactly how many active users it has, but it’s well over a billion. Writer Steven Levy reported Google is used 3 billion times each day.
And here’s who doesn’t make the cut …
Apple. In a press release accompanying its 2016 first-quarter earnings, Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted that ”our installed base recently cross a major milestone of one billion active devices.” This covers all Apple products, including MacBooks and Apple Watches, and users often have multiple (active) devices, so this doesn’t really count.
Facebook Messenger. Under the stewardship of David Marcus, Facebook’s Messenger app has grown explosively. It now has more than 800 million active users.
Instagram. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app might be wildly popular, but it’s not enough to get it into the 1,000,000,000 club. It has 400 million monthly active users, according to its press page.
iTunes. Apple’s music app has 800 million accounts, the company said in 2014. (Apple confirmed it has not released a more recent figure.) That’s not the same as active users — and even if it was, it wouldn’t make the cut.
QQ. A messaging app owned by Tencent, QQ has at least 860 million monthly active users, making it a likely future member of the club.
Twitter. The social network has 320 million active users, though it points out that if you include monthly unique visits to sites that include embedded tweets, that goes up to a billion.
Yahoo. The struggling web platform has more than a billion monthly active users, the company said in documentation accompanying its annual meeting of shareholders in 2015. But this is split across all its platforms — Yahoo Mail, Tumblr, and so on — no one single product has 1,000,000,000 users.
Weibo. The popular Chinese social network is a minnow compared with Facebook — at the start of 2015, it had “only” 200 million users.
WeChat. The Chinese messaging app, also owned by Tencent, had 650 million active users as of November, and that number is rising fast.