We’ve seen numerous online communication apps rise and fall. Some got too greedy and lost users due to unpopular changes implemented to boost profit, while others slowly drifted into oblivion amid a lack of features. Facebook-owned WhatsApp, however, is not one of those —it’s been around for more than a decade and only seems to gain in popularity. That’s why we prepared these essential WhatsApp statistics which will help you understand just what the team behind it did right to stay on top.
WhatsApp Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- There are over 2 billion WhatsApp monthly active users. (Statista)
- WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messaging app worldwide. (Statista)
- There are over 50 million WhatsApp Business users. (TechCrunch)
- 23% of US adults use WhatsApp. (Pew Research)
- WhatsApp is available in 60 languages. (WhatsApp)
- WhatsApp is banned or restricted in 6 countries. (iHarare)
- There are close to half a billion WhatsApp users in India. (TechCrunch)
The Latest WhatsApp Usage Facts
1. There are over 2 billion WhatsApp monthly active users.
WhatsApp statistics show that when Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, the app boasted 465 monthly active users. The cross-platform has introduced many features since, so it’s no wonder that its popularity skyrocketed. One of the most significant milestones happened in February 2016, when the platform reached a billion users. The WhatsApp user growth shows the number doubled in March 2020. The latest data available points to over 2 billion WhatsApp users in the world.
2. The number of WhatsApp users makes the platform the third most popular social network worldwide.
As of January 2022, the only two social networks with more users than WhatsApp are its parent company Facebook, and popular video platform YouTube. The two leading social media giants have 2.91 billion and 2.56 billion active users. WhatsApp user statistics show 2 billion, positioning the platform third on the list. Another Facebook-owned platform, Instagram, is on the top five list with 1.47 billion monthly active users, followed by Weixin/WeChat with 1.26 billion monthly active users.
3. WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messaging app worldwide.
Messaging apps that allow instant communication via internet connection transformed the way people connect. WhatsApp user statistics reveal it’s the most popular within this category, with a user base of 2 billion. As of January 2022, Weixin/WeChat is second with 1.26 billion users, followed by Facebook Messenger with over 988 million users. QQ has approximately half of that, 574 million, and Snapchat follows with 557 million users. Telegram is nearing the same milestone, its user base being at 550 million users.
4. About 100 billion messages are sent daily on WhatsApp.
As the number of WhatsApp users grows, the daily volume of messages does as well. In 2014, WhatsApp daily active users were sending 50 billion texts. Data from October 2020 points to an astonishing number of 100 billion WhatsApp messages per day.
5. There’s a website for finding WhatsApp groups by category.
Think about any topic that interests you, and there will probably be a WhatsApp group with members who think the same. A website called WhatsApp Group Links helps users find such communities. Categorized by the topics, there’s an abundance of communities users can join via the link. According to WhatsApp group statistics, some of the popular topics are:
- Tik Tok
6. WhatsApp usage was boosted by 40% or more in March 2020.
Depending on the stage of the pandemic, usage of all social media increased because of social distancing measures. WhatsApp stats show in the early days the app was used 27% more than in the previous period. Mid-pandemic, the increase was at 41%. WhatsApp usage by country shows significantly higher results for certain markets, e.g., Spain which saw a 76% surge.
WhatsApp Business Stats
7. WhatsApp Business was launched in 2018.
WhatsApp Business was introduced 4 years after Facebook acquired the app, as part of the parent’s efforts to monetize the platform. The new app targets small businesses, helping them connect with customers.
8. There are over 50 million WhatsApp Business users, WhatsApp facts show.
The app aimed at small businesses has been a complete hit. The direct and instant communication between consumers and brands, multimedia and status sharing, automated replies, and many more options are reasons for it. With over 50 million business users, India and Brazil rank at the top. Their business WhatsApp market share is 15 million and 5 million monthly users, respectively.
9. There are over 8 million business catalogs on WhatsApp.
India is once again a leader in WhatsApp popularity for businesses. One-eight, or 1 million catalogs, are from India-based businesses. WhatsApp statistics show that as of April 2021, the latest feature allows creators to manage their catalogs from desktop computers. Another feature, enabled at the same time, is called “Carts” and provides the opportunity for WhatsApp users to select several products to order from a catalog.
10. WhatsApp is trialing a payment feature in certain markets.
There are several key reasons why it’s the right time to start with your brand’s promotion on WhatsApp if you haven’t already. Facebook is serious about bringing ecommerce to the app, and with such an extensively developed WhatsApp user base, their strategy is a bullseye. The company launched its digital payment service in November 2020, currently available only in selected markets, including India.
(BBC, Social Media Today, DNA India)
Interesting WhatsApp Facts
11. WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, former Yahoo! employees.
WhatsApp creators wanted a better alternative for SMS. After “20 years combined of doing geeky stuff at Yahoo!,” as they referred to themselves, the duo started on a project of their own in 2009. Interestingly, Acton, who graduated in computer science at Stanford and has degrees from two other universities, was rejected from both Facebook and Twitter.
12. In 2013, WhatsApp was valued at $1.5 billion.
This is the primary reason most people were shocked by the hefty amount that Facebook paid for WhatsApp. Initially, it was a paid subscription service with a symbolic $1 annual fee. WhatsApp facts show a year before Facebook offered $19 billion, WhatsApp’s value was estimated at $1.5 billion. Facebook, upon the acquisition, canceled the only source of WhatsApp revenue and left many wondering about the business logic behind their move.
13. Google made an offer to acquire WhatsApp before Facebook did.
The WhatsApp user base (465 million) wasn’t incredibly large when both Google and Facebook made offers to purchase it. The encryption system made the service quite tempting, and, reportedly, Google offered $10 billion for WhatsApp ownership rights sometime in 2013. WhatsApp statistics and facts show that creators refused the offer, but Facebook soon made another, almost doubling the amount. This time, they couldn’t say no.
(Android Authority, Statista)
14. Facebook acquired WhatsApp for nearly $20 billion.
Facebook’s business strategy seems impeccable, as well as criteria for choosing which services to acquire. They recognize the potential and add their own “thing” to meet the consumers’ expectations and monetize the platforms. In 2014, Facebook estimated WhatsApp’s worth at a whopping $19 billion and offered the amount to close the deal. The creators, naturally, agreed. That was the largest acquisition by Facebook. Like with Instagram, the parent company keeps the platforms operating separately.
15. WhatsApp lost millions of users in 2021.
WhatsApp’s latest terms of services update resulted in a significant drop in the total number of WhatsApp users. Interestingly, WhatsApp group statistics show various misinformation about the update circulated through public groups, causing even more users to leave the platform.
The company didn’t disclose how many users left, but the update is quite beneficial for digital marketers as it revolves around business messaging only. The platform enables better data collection, and businesses can use that to better target their audiences. End-to-end encryption is still protecting the communication content between regular users. Rivals Signal and Telegram, however, gained over 30 million new users at the time of the update, most likely at the expense of WhatsApp.
US-Specific WhatsApp User Statistics
16. Nearly a quarter of US adults use WhatsApp.
A survey, conducted in the US in early 2021, examined which social media adults use. The results show YouTube and Facebook are the most popular, with 81% and 69% of US adults. WhatsApp ranks the same as Twitter, with 23% reporting using both. Other social networks ranking above the two are Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. On the other hand, TikTok, Reddit, and Nextdoor are less popular for the same demographics.
17. WhatsApp is more popular among male users, WhatsApp statistics show.
WhatsApp use in the US is pretty much balanced when it comes to the gender of its users, with a slight difference in favor of men. The latest WhatsApp user count in the US reports 17% of female and 20% of male internet users.
18. WhatsApp has the highest penetration rate among internet users aged 26-35.
The data from Q3 of 2020 shows the results of a survey conducted to determine how many internet users were also WhatsApp users in the USA by age. WhatsApp demographics show that 27% of internet users aged 26-35 use this social network. WhatsApp statistics show it’s the second most popular for internet users aged 36-45, 20% of them reporting WhatsApp usage. For the age range 15-25, the penetration rate among internet users is 19%.
19. Half of US users visit the platform daily.
When it comes to WhatsApp popularity and the frequency of use in the US, as of Q3 of 2020, 50% of users say they access the platform daily. Almost everyone, 91%, uses the platform at least once a month, so it creates the perfect opportunity for advertisers to give out limited-duration promotional codes. WhatsApp user statistics also show that, overall, 78% say they access it at least weekly.
20. Hispanic Americans are the most prolific WhatsApp users in the US.
The demographics of WhatsApp users in the USA point to Hispanic Americans using WhatsApp the most — 46%. 23% are Black, and 16% are white.
21. The largest number of WhatsApp users in the US live in urban areas.
The same survey results show the largest group lives in an urban area, 28% of US adults who use WhatsApp. The percentage is 23% for suburban areas, and a further 9% report living in a rural area, according to WhatsApp stats.
22. Most WhatsApp users in the US earn over $75,000 per year.
Another criterion in the same survey was the average annual income of the platform’s users. There were 4 categories available as a response, and 29% of US adults on the platform report earning over $75,000. 23% earn less than $30,000 and 20% of US users make between $30,000 and $49,999. 19% earn between $50,000 and $74,999.
Global WhatsApp Statistics
23. WhatsApp is banned or restricted in 6 countries.
Encryption on both ends implies that not even government agencies can spy on your conversations. Some countries find that unacceptable, so they have banned or restricted WhatsApp usage. These include China, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Cuba.
Interestingly, the Cuban government’s restriction on social media has nothing to do with censorship or politics — the internet is too pricey, and their infrastructure allows only the minimum bandwidth.
(iHarare, Latin American Post)
24. Almost all social media users in Mexico are on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp statistics by country reveal that the penetration rate among social media users in Mexico is a whopping 95%. The only platform ranking higher is Facebook with 97%. That’s why it’s always advised to design a business campaign with the valuable guidance of market research companies that can point you to the right platforms, especially for ventures targeting a specific international market.
25. In the UK, WhatsApp is the least popular among those aged 56+.
The instant messaging app is most popular among those aged between 26 and 35, with a whopping 85% of them using it. It’s a tie for those aged 15-25 and 36-45, with 79% of each using WhatsApp, followed by 75% of those aged 46-55.
26. Almost three-quarters of UK users access WhatsApp daily, according to WhatsApp statistics.
As of Q3 of 2020, 77% of Brits reported using WhatsApp, and its popularity is getting close to that of Facebook, which is used by 79% of Brits. The platform is more popular among female users, and 81% of women reported using WhatsApp. For men in the UK, the percentage is 73%.
27. WhatsApp’s popularity in Germany is far above average.
When asked about the apps they can’t do without, Germans of all age groups favor WhatsApp. WhatsApp demographics by gender point to 67% of women and 54% of men reporting they could least do without this app on their mobile. Furthermore, it’s the most used in the country. WhatsApp user statistics show with 87% of Germans on the platform, it exceeds its parent company’s popularity by 24%.
28. WhatsApp is the most popular app in Finland for all age groups.
Another European country where users find WhatsApp the most important app on their mobile is Finland. 84% of Finns are on the platform, and the results as of Q3 of 2020 show the app is more popular with female audiences. A whopping 91% of women and 77% of men use it. Further data shows that 83% of the user base are WhatsApp daily active users. The percentage of WhatsApp monthly active users is a whopping 99% of people who have the app.
29. There are close to half a billion WhatsApp users in India.
When we look into the number of active WhatsApp users by country, India ranks first and is slowly getting close to half a billion users. WhatsApp statistics by country show as of December 2020, there were 459 million users in India, excluding WhatsApp Business profiles. Its closest rival is YouTube, with 452 million India-based users.
30. Almost everyone who uses messenger apps in Brazil is on WhatsApp.
The latest survey points to an extremely high WhatsApp penetration rate among the messenger app users in Brazil. When users were asked about the services they regularly use, a whopping 95% said WhatsApp.
Stats and Facts About the App
31. WhatsApp was the 2nd most downloaded app worldwide in 2020.
A staggering 600 million WhatsApp downloads in 2020 rank the app the second most downloaded worldwide. WhatsApp stats show the number is 44.8 million for the US and the ranking — ninth.
32. WhatsApp is available in 60 languages.
The expansion of languages happened as a response to the WhatsApp user growth. When users install the app, it automatically sets up in the language of their phone, which is pretty convenient. Interestingly, the numbers differ for Android and iPhone users. The company reports over 40 languages for the latter, and up to 60 for Android phones.
33. Regular WhatsApp groups allow over 250 people in a group chat.
Sending your promotional campaigns in bulk is an efficient way to communicate with new leads and existing customers. WhatsApp group statistics show there can be 256 users in a chat. This feature can help marketers with A/B testing, as it’s a relatively small sample. Tracking different feedback and comparing the results is always the best way to see what works.
34. Users can recover accidentally deleted messages on WhatsApp.
It is much easier to recover your messages if the backup option is turned on. In that case, WhatsApp will save everything on Google Drive or iCloud, so it will work for both Android and iPhone users. Simply deleting and reinstalling the app will do the job (you’ll have to choose the “restore the chats” option). Users who didn’t have a backup will have to purchase third-party software to retrieve the chats. They’ll also have to do it on their desktop devices.
35. There’s a hack to increase the number of chat group members.
When brands are sure in their campaigns and want to get the maximum number of participants in the WhatsApp chat group, statistics show it can go up to a whopping 9,999. First, there’s an option to easily increase the number of participants to 3,000 by going into Group Info and choosing the Invite via link option. The second trick is to enable the Root Explorer on your device, which will allow you to change “participants_size_limit,” among other properties.
36. WhatsApp allows sending documents of up to 100MB.
Besides sending text, audio, photo, and video content, WhatsApp is an excellent channel for a business because the documents are also supported. The size limit for several categories we’ve mentioned first is 16MB. For other media files that you can also send in WhatsApp group chat, statistics reveal the limit is over 6 times higher — 100MB. This goes for PDF documents, for example, most commonly used for business catalogs. You can always go around the rule by uploading larger files to Google Drive and simply sharing the access link.
37. The Status feature allows 24-hour updates.
The concept of Stories immediately became a hit, and platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram popularized it worldwide. Sharing content on a daily basis that disappears after 24 hours allows users to be involved in their contacts’ lives, often even without direct communication. WhatsApp Status works in the same way, as the feature allows users to post pictures, videos, or GIFs. Their contacts can view and reply to it. WhatsApp statistics show that this is an excellent way for brands to advertise their daily promotions or special offers as well.
38. Audio and video calls have been available on desktop apps since March 2021.
As the situation with the pandemic increased the need for video calls, the company decided to add another important feature. Since March 2021, users have been able to make both audio and video calls from their desktop and laptop devices —WhatsApp Web versions. They kept the encryption part, so no worries about that.
How many people use WhatsApp?
The latest WhatsApp stats available point to over 2 billion people on the messaging app. This social network reached that significant milestone in March 2020, and the company hasn’t disclosed information since. We do know that millions of users abandoned WhatsApp in early 2021, but it’s improbable that the number exceeds the number of new users in the 10 months.
(The Guardian, Statista)
Who uses WhatsApp the most?
In some European countries, such as Germany, Finland, and the UK, WhatsApp ranks as the most popular social network. 87%, 84%, and 77% of their citizens aged over 15 are using the app, respectively. The highest number of WhatsApp users, on the other hand, is reported in India — close to half a billion, as of December 2020.
(Audience Project, TechCrunch)
Why do people use WhatsApp?
The most obvious reason people choose WhatsApp as their primary messaging app is the platform’s end-to-end encryption system. Despite the constantly increasing number of competitors, WhatsApp statistics show that digital safety and data privacy made it the most popular messaging app worldwide. Some other features users appreciate are ease of use, an abundance of file types you can share, and of course, the fact it’s completely free.
- Business Standard
- Social Media Today
- DNA India
- Business Standard
- Android Authority
- The Guardian
- Pew Research
- Latin American Post
- Tech Untold
- Business Standard
- Audience Project