By Barb Darrow
July 28, 2017

WhatsApp says that one billion people now use its popular chat and photo sharing app daily, marking a new milestone for the service and another sign of its huge growth. Last year, the company said it had one billion monthly active users.

Facebook bought WhatsApp two years ago for about $19 billion, a staggering amount even for the social networking giant. At that time, WhatsApp had about 450 million monthly active users and 315 million daily active users, according to Business Insider.

It was also said to be adding one million new users every day.

Related: Users Turn to Facebook’s WhatsApp for Breaking News

WhatsApp

User metrics can be slippery. Twitter (twtr), for example, says it has 328 million monthly active users (MAU), but it declines to provide a number for daily active users (DAU).

A large number of people using a service daily is a key indicator of a highly engaged user base.

Business social network site LinkedIn says it has 500 million total registered users, but it stopped providing monthly active user counts last year.

WhatsApp is a free service and does not make money from ads. Facebook (fb), however, is using it as a source of data to improve its social network, for which ad revenue is the core business.

If WhatsApp numbers are as good as disclosed, it’s getting easier to see why Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a gamble in buying the service at such a high price.

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