#WhatsApp co-founder #Brian Acton recently announced his departure from the company. According to the Stanford graduate, the decision to leave the company has something to do with his passion to build an all new non-profit technology and communications company. In 2009, Brian Acton and his business partner Jan Koum from Ukraine started WhatsApp shortly after leaving Yahoo. The duo went on to create one of today's best messaging apps.

Brian Acton's message on Facebook

"After 8 years at WhatsApp, I have decided to move on and start a new chapter in my life. I am very fortunate at my age to have the flexibility to take new risks and focus on what I'm passionate about."

Meanwhile, he promised everyone that he will release updates on his new endeavor in the coming months.

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Jan Koum, on the other hand, has not released a statement regarding Acton's departure. Admitting how hard the decision was, the immense support of his team helped him build the empire.

He further thanked his former team of what they have accomplished through the years, noting how it feels that millions of users rely on the application that he helped establish.

According to Recode, a source close to the company revealed that Acton is a big part of the company's push to encrypt messages. His position and scope of work in the company is unprecedented and will not be filled by a single employee.

WhatsApp in the beginning

In 2014, Facebook bought the company for a massive $19.3 billion. Today, WhatsApp has a total number 1.3 billion users, a huge number added after the company announced that it will stop charging users for their use of the application.

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On January 18, 2016, WhatsApp announced on their official blog that the application will be free to use. The statement said: "We're happy to announce that WhatsApp will no longer charge subscription fees. For many years, we've asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year. As we've grown, we've found that this approach hasn't worked well."

The company apparently acknowledged the fact that not all families have credit and debit cards to pay for the minimal fee, yet they need the service to stay connected. That said, the company ceased to charge fees, and up to this day, the company remains a non-profit company that brings immense service to people.

According to TechCrunch, India is WhatsApp's current biggest market today.

Brian Acton has a net worth of approximately $6 billion when he announced his departure from WhatsApp. #WhatsApp Update