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WhatsApp Sending 20 Billion Messages Daily; User Base Larger Than Twitter

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We all know popular cross-platform messaging app WhatsApp is big, right? Well think again because the company is larger than you could ever imagine. Speaking onstage at D: Dive Into Mobile, AllThingsD reports WhatApp CEO Jan Koum revealed his company has exceeded the user base of Twitter, which has roughly 200 million monthly active users. Koum went on to say WhatsApp now handles 8 billion inbound messages and 12 million outbound, for a total of 20 billion messages per day.

Looking back, in November of 2011, WhatsApp had just then surpassed 1 billion messages sent in a day. Last August, the company revealed it had eclipsed 10 billion messages sent daily, and recently on New Year’s Eve, WhatsApp informed everyone it had hit 18 billion messages processed in one day.

Back in early 2010, iPhoneinCanada.ca along with a few others helped diagnose messaging errors on the Rogers/Fido network. In our previous communication with Koum we asked if he would share numbers about their users. Koum replied “our numbers are a closely guarded secret which we don’t share with anybody.” This tells you how seriously the company is when it comes to their numbers, so to reveal it is now larger than Twitter is a major milestone.

WhatsApp is growing so quickly it has caught the attention of Facebook and Google, with the latter recently rumoured to acquire the chat app for $1 billion. Koum, an ex-Yahoo employee, says they are “looking forward to a world with billions of phones” to further expand their business model, which currently does not rely on advertising but rather an annual $0.99 subscription (coming soon to new iOS WhatsApp users).

“We do have a manifesto opposing advertising,” Koum said. “We’re proud of that. Who likes advertising? We’re so bombarded with ads so much in our daily lives and we felt that smartphones aren’t the place for that. Our phones are so intimately connected to us, to our lives. Putting advertising on a device like that is a bad idea. You don’t want to be interrupted by ads when you’re chatting with your loved ones.”

Part of the lure of WhatsApp, aside from its simplicity is the fact it doesn’t comment on its user base; its admission it is now larger than Twitter is impressive. With a simple price point of $0.99 and a combination of smartly-timed free download promotions, WhatsApp consistenly sits atop the Top Paid Apps charts within the App Store, a highly coveted spot for developers.

Are you using WhatsApp? It’s still one of my go-to apps for messaging people on non-iOS devices.

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  • WatDaPhuck

    WhatsApp should be listed as one of the all time best app for smartphones, so shut up and take my dollar!!

  • It’s true. Definitely worth a buck. They’ve worked hard to make a great app!

  • Al

    Just trying to understand…
    I just use WhatsApp for texting outside Canada (which is rare for me). Am I correct in assuming that it’s primarily intended for people who don’t have a plan with a large or unlimited # of texts?

    It seems that whenever I get a plan, it just happens to include either unlimited texts, or more texts per month than I personally would ever need. So I’m a little bewildered at how much it is used. Although I appreciate that some people text like crazy and that they may not have a good text plan.

  • WatDaPhuck

    You need to consider pictures and videos as well. Most of the time, sending cross platform pictures and videos will cost extra or it won’t work with a text. Not to mention extra charges for long distance or international texting. Unlimited texting didn’t really happen until data plans became widely adopted by people using BBM.

  • Al

    Well… I’ve got all that included (except international texts). Always have (since my first iPhone – the 3Gs). It all just came with the promo pack I would get whenever I got a new plan or upgraded plans. Always really well priced (like I said… “promo”). So, maybe I’ve just been lucky? But that’s the source for my bewilderment. I pay a small amount for unlimited national texts to any device, which includes sending pics (and video, if I recall correctly), and have no reason to use a third party app (except for international).

  • WatDaPhuck

    What I’m trying to say, is that most people that didn’t use Berries, and started with iPhones or Androids, used WhatsApp as their app for cross platform/international texting, because of those extra costs back in the day. It has become a habit for these people (myself included). It’s just easier to setup chat rooms with family/friends overseas. Or when you’re on business trips, you know for sure the message has been sent and you’re not being charged extra.

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