WhatsApp could be losing its lead against the competition, new figures have revealed
WhatsApp could be about to lose its lead over rival messaging apps.
The instant messenger, the most popular on the planet, is quickly being caught by Facebook Messenger.
Messenger this week confirmed it has topped 1.2 billion active users, making it one of the fasting growing communications tools of all time.
That's a substantial amount of growth since it last announced a usage milestone – 1 billion milestone of active users back in July 2016.
Facebook Messenger is now the second most popular iOS app of all time – just behind Facebook, the social network has confirmed.
WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook as well, purportedly boasts some 1.2 billion monthly active users as well.
WhatsApp: Hidden Tips, Tricks and Features You Never Knew Mon, June 20, 2016
WhatsApp is the world's most popular messaging app but you probably don't know all of the tricks and features hidden up its sleeve. Here's everything you need to know to master WhatsApp.
Play slideshow WHATSAPP • EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS 1 of 10
WhatsApp – Hidden tricks and features you probably don't know, but definitely should be using
However the messaging company has not published usage statistics for some time.
Messenger Vice President David Marcus published the latest figures around Messenger on Facebook.
He posted: "We now have over 1.2 billion people actively using Messenger every month. And I keep on hearing powerful stories about how our product is becoming a more important part of your daily lives.
"So from all of us here at Messenger, a heartfelt thank you to all of you for giving us a chance to build something good and more meaningful for you."
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Anyone aged 13 and over is able to sign-up for Messenger. It is now available to everyone with a phone number – even if you don’t have a Facebook account.
Messenger VP David Marcus shared the news on his Facebook page this week
The news comes as a senior EU lawmaker revealed that a deal that would allow Facebook to siphon data from WhatsApp users for its social network was close to being agreed.
Facebook has been faced with months of wrangling, following the announcement that data would shared between the two apps.
The news was revealed by EU regulator Helen Dixon, who has been overseeing Facebook’s case.
Speaking to news agency Reuters, she said: "I think we are in agreement with the parties – WhatsApp and Facebook – that the quality of the information provided to users could have been clearer, could have been more transparent and could have been expressed in simpler terms.”
Ms Dixon, who is also Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner, added that she hopes a final agreement will be reached this summer.
Facebook bought popular messaging app WhatsApp back in 2014
Facebook, which bought WhatsApp back in 2014, caused controversy last summer when it announced plans to use information from the app to influence the advertisements displayed on Facebook users' News Feed.
This included seeing the phone number associated with a WhatsApp account, enabling the California-based social network to link and track users’ profiles between the two services – helping the company gather more data for its advertisements.
Facebook had previously said it would ensure that WhatsApp user data would remain private and separate from the social network.
Speaking during the acquisition, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said: "It would be pretty stupid of us to interfere."
WhatsApp was sued in a German court earlier this year by customers angry that the app had gone back on its word.