Mobile messaging app WeChat has watched its userbase soar in the last year.
China-based Internet company Tencent on Wednesday revealed in its financials that its WeChat messaging app ended the first quarter of 2014 with 396 million monthly active users. WeChat ended 2013 with 355 million monthly active users. It's worth noting, however, the messaging app goes by the name Weixin in China. Tencent's figures for the first quarter, which ended March 31, include both WeChat and Weixin monthly active users.
WeChat's surging growth puts the service close to its chief competitor WhatsApp. That messaging app had 450 million monthly active users when it was acquired by Facebook in February for $16 billion. Both apps allow users to send text messages for free to other apps users outside of standard SMS.
The messaging category has become extremely popular, due in large part to app feature sets allowing users to sidestep SMS limitations, as well as, the ease with which users can share multimedia content like video and photos. It also didn't hurt that Facebook cast a light on the space with its massive WhatsApp buy.
(Via The Next Web)
Correction, 10:39 a.m. PT: This story incorrectly stated the increase in WeChat's monthly active users. The mobile messaging app ended the first quarter of 2014 with 396 million monthly active users, an increase of more than 40 million monthly active users since the end of 2013.