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Facebook Says WhatsApp Tops 2 Billion Users Worldwide, Insists Strong Encryption Is a ‘Necessity’

February 12, 2020 / TODD SPANGLER
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WhatsApp now has more than 2 billion users globally, according to Facebook — and the company says it “will not compromise” on the messaging app’s end-to-end encryption, despite warnings from law enforcement officials. WhatsApp, which Facebook acquired for $19 billion in 2014, uses strong crypto to keep information sent over the service private, “helping protect you from hackers and criminals,” according to the social-media giant. No one, not even Facebook, can read messages or listen to calls on WhatsApp, it claims. With 2 billion users, up from 500 million when Facebook bought it, WhatsApp is the company’s second-biggest app after Facebook itself, which had 2.5 billion monthly users as of December 2019. “Strong encryption is a necessity in modern life. We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe,” Facebook said in announcing the 2 billion-user milestone.