Microsoft, Google, Facebook: The March To A Billion Active Users – Timeline

Billion Active Users – With approximately 3.3 billion people now using the internet, how hard can it possibly be to reach one billion of them each month?

It turns out that it’s quite a challenge.

Apple, the largest company by market capitalization, doesn’t have a single product with that kind of penetration.

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WeChat, which is the most popular mobile messaging app in China, couldn’t reach one billion active users even if it was used by every single person with a smartphone in China. That’s why the app “only” has 650 million active users right now.

Meanwhile, names such as Reddit, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram all boast hundreds of millions of users. However, none of these are able to yet have the global market penetration to reach the coveted billion mark.

The Big Three

So far, the only companies in possession of apps with more than one billion active users are Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.

Amazingly, Google alone has seven of them: Search, Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Android, Chrome, and Play. The last of these to reach the one billion mark was Gmail, as per Alphabet’s announcement earlier this month during an earnings call.

Google also has the app that reached one billion users the quickest: Android did it in only 5.8 years.

Facebook also has three apps that can make the billion user claim. Facebook itself has the largest audience out of all of these apps, with 1.59 billion monthly active users. WhatsApp, which Facebook bought for $22 billion in October 2014, has also recently announced on its blog that it also surpassed the one billion user mark. This now fulfills a promise that Mark Zuckerberg made to Facebook shareholders at the deal’s outset.

Lastly, there’s Microsoft’s Windows and Office products, which are the only paid products that could crack the list. They took the longest to get there: 25.8 years and 21.7 years respectively.

The March To A Billion Active Users – Timeline

Via Visual Capitalist