If you’re anything like me, you probably can’t remember the last day you went without using WhatsApp. Chances are that you have it on your phone and use it on a daily basis – and you’ve probably sneaked a peek at least once in the past two hours.
Such is the dominance of WhatsApp in our daily lives. That’s also why the application provides massive opportunities for businesses.
In this article, we’re going to introduce to you ten WhatsApp statistics every marketer should know in 2021 to explore its potential as part of your ecommerce business strategy.
- What is WhatsApp?
- 1. Number of WhatsApp Users
- 2. WhatsApp’s Popularity as a Mobile Messenger App
- 3. WhatsApp App Downloads
- 4. WhatsApp Statistics on Availability
- 5. WhatsApp Usage by Country
- 6. Messages Sent via WhatsApp Daily
- 7. WhatsApp Usage in the United States
- 8. WhatsApp Users’ Age
- 9. WhatsApp Business Statistics
- 10. WhatsApp Status Usage
- Summary: WhatsApp Statistics
- Want to Learn More?
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What is WhatsApp?
Before diving into our juicy WhatsApp statistics, we’ll first touch on some basics and answer the question: What is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is a mobile messaging application founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum. Their aim was to provide users with an alternative to traditional text messaging, SMS. As we’ll see in these WhatsApp statistics, it’s safe to say that they have been able to achieve that and much more. (And yes, the name is a play on the phrase, “what’s up”.)
In 2014, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion and is one of the most popular apps in the world today.
Now that we’ve set the stage, let’s get straight to the ten WhatsApp statistics you should know in 2021!
1. Number of WhatsApp Users
The first item on the list of WhatsApp statistics you need to know is the number of WhatsApp users.
There are currently more than 2 billion WhatsApp users around the globe and rising (WhatsApp, 2020). With 1.5 billion in 2018 and 1 billion in 2016, this number of WhatsApp users has been increasing at half a billion every two years.
It’s even slowly inching towards that of the king of social media, Facebook. As of 2019, Facebook had 2.45 billion monthly active users.
The high number of WhatsApp users means great ad and reach potential. But before you get all excited, know that its parent company, Facebook, has recently announced it will not be moving ahead with its initial plan to offer ads placements on WhatsApp–a move that was met with much controversy.
But there is talk of possible integration of ads in WhatsApp’s Status feature, so you may want to keep an eye out for that for your ecommerce business.
2. WhatsApp’s Popularity as a Mobile Messenger App
Of all the mobile messenger apps, WhatsApp is currently the most popular and is leading by quite a stretch, too.
The latest WhatsApp statistics show that two billion of its users access the messaging app every month (Statista, 2021). That’s 0.7 billion (or approximately 54 percent) more than its closest rival and parent company’s Facebook Messenger.
This is in spite of the app being one of the many social media platforms that have been blocked in the world’s most populous country, China.
WhatsApp’s popularity also ranks ahead of what many have argued to be its equivalents and popular alternatives in China, WeChat and QQ Mobile, which have 1.213 billion and 617 billion monthly active users respectively.
Completing the list of the six most popular mobile messenger apps are Telegram (500 billion) and Snapchat (498 billion).
3. WhatsApp App Downloads
This next WhatsApp statistic is further proof of the app’s popularity. In April 2021, WhatsApp Messenger app downloads came in at around 13 million (Sensor Tower, 2021).
The number of WhatsApp’s app downloads is even higher than some of its closest rivals: Facebook Messenger and Telegram.
It also appears to be more popular among iOS users than Android users. It was the fourth second most downloaded non-game app on the Apple App Store, but fifth on the Google Play Store.
WhatsApp downloads also differ from country to country and it doesn’t appear to be harmonious even across the same regions.
In the first quarter of 2021, France saw the largest increase in WhatsApp downloads, growing 38.8 percent from the previous quarter. Downloads in neighboring Germany, on the other hand, only increased 10.2 percent.
4. WhatsApp Statistics on Availability
WhatsApp is currently available in over 180 countries around the world (WhatsApp, 2020). To cater to the local crowd, the app is also available in 60 different languages.
Its market penetration is the highest in several European countries, specifically the Netherlands at 85 percent, followed by 83.1 percent in Spain, and 83 percent in Italy. In fact, there are only a couple of dozens of countries in which WhatsApp is not the leading app for mobile messaging.
Despite the app’s popularity, there are, however, a handful of countries that WhatsApp has not been able to penetrate. Aside from China, the app is also completely or partially blocked in countries such as Cuba, Syria, Iran, the UAE, North Korea, and Qatar.
Some of these bans are applied to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services as opposed to the app itself. That means that while text messaging is still possible, WhatsApp voice and video calls cannot be made.
5. WhatsApp Usage by Country
India is currently WhatsApp’s biggest market, with 340 million users in the South Asian country (Emarketer, 2019). That puts it way ahead of WhatsApp’s second-largest market, Brazil, which is home to 99 million users. In fact, WhatsApp users in India made up nearly half (49 percent) of the total number of WhatsApp app downloads in the month of February 2020.
In spite of its Californian roots, WhatsApp is surprisingly not as popular in the US as most would think, with just 68 million users in the country. Of these, 26 million are considered to be monthly active users.
It appears most mobile messenger app users in the US prefer to communicate through Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, which have 106 million and 46 million monthly active users respectively.
But despite the relatively low WhatsApp usage in the US, experts are forecasting a steady increase in growth and expect there to be over 85 million WhatsApp users in the US by 2023.
You may also be interested to know that despite China’s ban, there are approximately two million people using WhatsApp in China.
6. Messages Sent via WhatsApp Daily
In late 2011, WhatsApp announced a new milestone: More than one billion messages were being sent using its app in a single day. Fast forward to 2016, and that number had already skyrocketed to 60 billion.
And now, barely a decade after crossing the one-billion mark, it’s reached far more impressive figures: 100 billion messages are currently being sent daily via WhatsApp (TechCrunch, 2020). In just nine years, the company has increased the number of messages sent per day on its app 100-fold – a true testament to how much it has grown.
In other words, that’s around 4.2 billion messages per hour, 69 million per minute, and more than 1.1 million per second.
WhatsApp users aren’t using the app for text messaging alone. Its call features are also extremely popular among users. This is especially so during the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 15 billion minutes of voice and video calls being made on WhatsApp every day.
7. WhatsApp Usage in the United States
Though WhatsApp isn’t as popular as Facebook Messenger in the US, its users there still access the app pretty frequently.
The latest WhatsApp statistics show that more than half of all WhatsApp users in the US use the app at least once a day (Statista, 2019). Of these, more than 60 percent do so several times a day. Just one-quarter say they do so once or several times a week.
By far the most popular reason users in the US are accessing the app is to stay in contact with their family and friends. More than eight out of ten users list this as their reason for using WhatsApp.
In comparison, just 13 percent say they use the app to strengthen their professional network. This is a clear indication that WhatsApp is used mostly for personal purposes.
8. WhatsApp Users’ Age
In terms of WhatsApp users’ age demographics, the app is, without a doubt, more popular among the younger crowd.
Though approximately one out of every five US adults use the mobile messenger app, WhatsApp is more highly used by younger adults (Marketing Charts, 2019).
To break it down further, WhatsApp usage is the highest among young US adults aged between 18 and 24, with 44 percent of people in this age group using the messaging app.
WhatsApp usage decreases with age. Moving into the next age brackets of 25 to 29 and 30 to 49, usage drops to 31 percent and 26 percent respectively.
In comparison, just 7 percent of US adults aged 65 and above use WhatsApp.
9. WhatsApp Business Statistics
In just one year after WhatsApp launched its B2B initiative, WhatsApp Business, it clocked up more than 5 million business users (PYMNTS.com, 2019).
Aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises support their customers by facilitating interaction with them, WhatsApp Business offers companies features such as quick replies, labels, chat filters, and more.
Initially launched on Android devices, WhatsApp has also since introduced the WhatsApp Business app for iOS devices.
It’s also constantly working to improve users’ and businesses’ experience. Just recently, it launched a “catalogs” feature to allow businesses to showcase their products easily. This also makes the shopping process more user-friendly for consumers as they will be able to browse in-app instead of opening a link on a website.
10. WhatsApp Status Usage
When WhatsApp introduced WhatsApp Status in 2017, many were quick to point out its similarity with Snapchat’s self-destructive messaging feature. Others dug a little deeper to reveal more practical reasons.
Whatever the reason for its launch, WhatsApp Status has grown in usage and popularity since its launch, insomuch that its number of daily active users has even surpassed that of Snapchat, the company many claimed it “cloned” the idea from.
There are currently half a billion WhatsApp accounts using WhatsApp Status every day (Statista, 2019). That’s about one-quarter of its users and more than double the 190 million Snapchat currently has.
There you have it! These ten WhatsApp facts should provide you with the information you need to know to get started with any mobile ad campaigns you’re thinking of launching.
From understanding WhatsApp’s usage by country and WhatsApp users’ age demographics to other WhatsApp facts like the number of downloads and messages sent, you are now equipped to get cracking with incorporating WhatsApp into your business strategy, be it for marketing or customer service purposes!
Summary: WhatsApp Statistics
Here’s a summary of the WhatsApp statistics you need to know in 2021:
- There are 2 billion WhatsApp users around the globe.
- Two billion WhatsApp users access the app on a monthly basis.
- WhatsApp was downloaded 13 million times in April 2021.
- WhatsApp is available in more than 180 countries and 60 different languages.
- With 340 million users, India is WhatsApp’s biggest market.
- 100 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp every day.
- 53 percent of WhatsApp users in the US use the app at least once a day.
- One in every five US adults uses WhatsApp.
- There are more than five million businesses using WhatsApp Business.
- Half a billion WhatsApp accounts use the WhatsApp Status feature every day.
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Is there anything else you’d like to know about WhatsApp statistics and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!