At over 1 billion users, WhatsApp is now a “usercorn”

“There are only few services that connect a billion people…”, says Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg on his Facebook page. And WhatsApp, the company he acquired two years ago for a tenth of Facebook’s value, has just crossed that milestone.

To get a sense of how fast Whatsapp is growing, the service hit 800 million actives in April 2015. Founder, Jan Koum cheekily reminded the press in a Facebook post commemorating the event that active users are different from registered users. By September 2015, Whatsapp had added another million users. Adding another million by January 2016 suggests that WhatsApp is doing this every four months.

A unicorn, in VC-speak is a startup company that is valued at over a billion dollars. If we are allowed to coin some more quirky VC-speak for what just happened, WhatsApp has become a “usercorn”. A user unicorn.

And while unicorns have become commodities since the term was first coined, (there are now 159 as opposed to 39 in 2013) usercorns are still rare. Google’s Gmail app itself just hit a billion users. If you throw mobile OSes into the mix, you get an interesting picture. No guarantees of total accuracy, but according to the most recent reported figures:

9 usercorns detected. It’s gonna take some of these guys a while to catch up.

Meanwhile, did you notice that together, the apps in the Facebook ecosystem control more than 3.7 billion active users a month? If you don’t discount for user overlaps across the apps, that’s more than half the people on the planet. Of course, when you take into consideration that Google…er sorry, Alphabet…has SEVEN of said usercorns in its universe

T-Mobile begins selling the NEW BlackBerry Priv

As scheduled, the BlackBerry Priv is now available for purchase from T-Mobile in the United States. The Android-powered device is in stock at the magenta carrier’s online as well as physical stores.

As for the price, you can purchase it on the carrier’s standard leasing program, paying $0 down followed by $30 each month for two years. Alternatively, you can also opt for T-Mobile’s JUMP! On Demand program, where-in you’ll have to pay $34 a month for 18 months.

Purchasing the Priv outright from T-Mobile will set you back $719.99. However, before you go ahead with this option, keep in mind that BlackBerry is officially selling the unlocked unit for $699 in the US.

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Apple Watch (2016) to enter mass production in Q2

The second-generation Apple Watch is planned to enter mass production in the second quarter of the year. The information comes from sources in the upstream supply chain, cited by DigiTimes. According to the sources, Quanta Computer is going to be the sole manufacturer of the smartwatch.

Originally, Apple considered splitting some of the production efforts to Foxconn Electronics but decided to keep all of the orders with Quanta. The reason is that Apple doesn’t anticipate high enough sales volumes for the second-generation Apple Watch.

Reportedly, the company has reduced its shipment forecast twice – once in the fourth quarter in 2015 and now, in 2016. Nevertheless, the company still hold over 50% of the smartwatch market at the end of 2015.

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iPhone 7 Plus again tipped to come with a dual-camera setup

September is still a long way off, but rumors regarding Cupertino’s next iPhone are already coming in hard. Apple analysts from KGI, like Ming-Chi Kuo have definitely proven a trustworthy source of information in the past and although they mostly deal with analytical results and speculations, predictions have often turned out true in the past. In a new memo to investors, Kuo talks of a dual rear camera setup for the iPhone 7 Plus, or at least a certain version of it.

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10 Reasons Why Brands Should Be on Snapchat

There is no denying Snapchat’s growth. Since November, the messaging app has gained another billion views bringing it to seven billion views, Business Insider reports. The number of views has been growing exponentially for the brand, which has tripled its views nearly six months earlier. It is still just shy of Facebook’s 8 billion video views a day, but with Snapchat’s growth points that they will be passing Facebook very soon. As 2016 gets underway, it is clear that Snapchat is one of the social apps that marketers should have their brands on.

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Join the Social Media Week Lagos: Feb 22-26, 2016

Social Media Week Lagos is a week long conference that provides the ideas, trends, insights and inspiration to help people and businesses understand how to achieve more in a hyper-connected world. The event features a central stage for keynotes and panels, multiple rooms for workshops, masterclasses and presentations, and an area dedicated to co-working, networking and interactive installations. This platform helps people and organizations connect through collaboration, learning and the sharing of ideas and information and is significant because it brings together thought leaders, key stakeholders and the public to explore issues that are important for the modern world. SMW Lagos is the largest, tech, new media and business conference on the continent of Africa. Annually over 7,000 people participate in the conference which garners hundreds of press mentions and thousands of people viewing SMW Lagos content via the internet. Continue reading