The Tech World Has A New ‘Billionaire’s Club’

Gmail and Whatsapp hit major milestones this week: They both have over 1 billion monthly users.

These services are part of the tech world’s new “billionaire’s club.” We’re not talking about moguls who are worth a ridiculous amount of money. This is a different kind of club, one that values reach and influence — billions of views, billions of rides, billions of dollars donated — instead of wealth.

This new club is taking over our phones, TVs, music and even our government, and it shows no signs of stopping. Here are nine members of this influential group:

    • WhatsApp: 1 Billion Monthly Users
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      YASUYOSHI CHIBA via Getty Images

Facebook’s WhatsApp messenger crossed the 1 billion monthly active user milestone in February, meaning that one-seventh of the world’s population now uses it. The main Facebook app has had over 1 billion monthly active users since 2012.
    • Gmail: 1 Billion Monthly Users
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      Bloomberg via Getty Images

Google’s Gmail also reached 1 billion monthly active users in February. It joins a handful of other Google services — YouTube, Search, Chrome, Maps, Android — that were already in this club.
    • Apple Devices: 1 Billion Active
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      Bloomberg via Getty Images

Late in January, Apple announced that it had over 1 billion active devices — Macs, iPads, Apple Watches, iPhones, Apple TVs — connecting to services like the App Store and iCloud. The company sold its billionth iOS device in November 2014.
    • Adele: 1 Billion YouTube Views In Record Time
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      Sascha Steinbach via Getty Images

Adele’s music video for “Hello” reached 1 billion YouTube views on Jan. 21, after just 87 days, breaking the 158-day record previously held by Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”
    • Netflix: 42.5 Billion Hours Watched
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      Bloomberg via Getty Images

Netflix subscribers watched 42.5 billion hours of programming in 2015. This figure will likely rise in 2016, as Netflix debuted in 130 countries in January.
    • Jet: $1.5 Billion In Just A Year
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      Bloomberg via Getty Images

In November 2015, after just one year of existence, Jet.com joined Snapchat, Lyft, Vox and a host of other startups founded in the last five years that are valued at $1 billion or more.
    • Mark Zuckerberg: $45 Billion Pledged
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      Bloomberg via Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg announced the birth of his child on Dec. 1, 2015, by pledgingto give 99 percent of his Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — to the new Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, dedicated to “advancing human potential and promoting equality for all children.”
    • Obama: $4 Billion For Tech Education
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      ASSOCIATED PRESS

Obama announced plans in January 2016 to spend $4 billion to give a boost to tech education. If Congress approves it as part of the 2017 budget, the “Computer Science for All” initiative would expand state funding for computer science classes in public schools.
    • Uber: 1 Billion Rides
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      Carl Court via Getty Images

Uber completed its billionth trip in December 2015. While it took the ride-hailing service six years to get there, its Chinese rival Didi Kuaidi reached 1 billion rides in just one year.

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