WhatsApp has garnered two billion users, up from 1.5 billion by the end of 2017, the company announced.
The mobile messaging app was founded in 2009 and acquired by Facebook (FB) in 2014. The deal was valued at $19 billion, the largest acquisition by the social media giant to date.
Despite its size, WhatsApp’s growth remains robust: It has gained 500 million new customers over the past two years.
WhatsApp boasts of its end-to-end encryption technology, which ensures that all contents in chats are secured by default. Not even WhatsApp can read messages or listen to calls that take place among the participants of conversations, according to WhatsApp’s blog posts.
According to CNN, the encryption technology has drawn backlash across the world for security reasons. In India, where WhatsApp has more users than any domestic messaging apps, the government has called for regulations that give it access to encrypted data. In Australia and the United Kingdom, similar laws are also in discussion.
WhatsApp strongly defends its encryption technology. “We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe,” according to WhatsApp’s announcement recently.