WhatsApp Statistics: Revenue, Usage, and History
Text messages, voice calls, recorded voice messages, video calls - how do you want to communicate? WhatsApp gives you all the tools you need to stay in touch. And with more active users than any other messaging tool, it surpasses even Meta’s Messenger app when it comes to popularity.
WhatsApp was the first app of its kind on the market, and one of the biggest reasons people favor it is the simple, beautiful interface coupled with the fact that this program is completely ad-free.
So, how does WhatsApp earn its money, and why exactly is it so successful?
Our WhatsApp statistics can answer those questions and more.
Key WhatsApp Stats for 2023 - Editor's Choice
- WhatsApp is currently the world’s most popular messaging app, with 2.24 billion active monthly users.
- WhatsApp is used in over 180 countries.
- 54% of millennials and just over a third of baby boomers (36%) use WhatsApp daily.
- In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, people spent a total of 15 billion minutes on WhatsApp calls each day.
- Before the pandemic, WhatsApp users spent an average of 195 minutes using the app each week.
- Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014.
- Half a billion people use WhatsApp Status every day.
- 27% of all selfies are shared through WhatsApp or text messaging.
What’s the Big Deal About WhatsApp?
WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by two former Yahoo employees, Brian Acton and Jan Koum.
We’ve got lots of WhatsApp statistics for the web, but before we get into the numbers, here’s a little history.
After leaving their Yahoo positions in 2007, Acton and Koum applied for jobs at Facebook but were rejected. They wandered around the job market, trying to figure out what they wanted to do.
Their inspiration came once they purchased their first iPhones. They quickly grasped the potential of Apple’s app store, and they developed an idea - they wanted to make a messaging app that would show people’s status next to their names. WhatsApp was launched in 2009, and a new era of instant messaging began.
WhatsApp is currently the world’s most popular messaging app, with 2.24 billion monthly active users.
According to research, WhatsApp had around 2.24 billion monthly active users in April 2022, a 6.4% increase compared to the same month in 2021.
The active number of monthly WhatsApp users in early 2022 was still the highest of all global mobile messenger apps, at 2 billion in January, with WeChat emerging as number two, with 1.26 billion monthly active users. Meta’s Messenger was below 1 billion - at 988 million, ahead of QQ (574 million), Snapchat (557 million), and Telegram (550 million).
WhatsApp has more than one billion daily active users.
WhatsApp is definitely not one of those apps you install and forget. With over a billion users logging in each day, it has become an irreplaceable tool for communication.
54% of millennials and just over a third of baby boomers (36%) use WhatsApp on a daily basis.
Millennials make up the highest concentration and the biggest number of WhatsApp users. The software isn’t as popular among baby boomers and older generations.
Despite the massive popularity of newer and flashier messaging apps, WhatsApp is still very popular with the younger Gen Z crowd (51%). Rounding off our list are Gen X users. 48% of them use WhatsApp to communicate with friends, family, and coworkers on a daily basis.
The number of WhatsApp users in the US is expected to hit 85.8 million by 2023.
WhatsApp user numbers are steadily growing in the US. In 2019, 68.1 million US smartphone users communicated through the app, with the number expected to surge to 85.8 million in 2023.
500 million people use WhatsApp Status daily.
If you use Snapchat Stories or Instagram Stories, WhatsApp Status will make you feel right at home. This feature allows you to post a status update that disappears 24 hours after you upload it. WhatsApp user statistics show that this is one of the most popular ways people tell their loved ones what they’re up to.
WhatsApp Business was launched in January 2018.
Aimed at small businesses, WhatsApp Business was an immediate hit. It helped companies connect with customers more easily in order to build brand loyalty. Three million firms are already using it.
One of the best parts is WhatsApp Business Statistics, a handy little feature that allows you to see statistics on how the messages you send to your consumers are sent, delivered, read, and received. You can track user engagement and experience, then modify your business strategy accordingly. This is a great way to build a bond with people who shop from you and make them feel like they are a part of your team.
100 billion messages are sent through WhatsApp every day.
People are really chatty on WhatsApp! And how could they not be when it gives them an easy way to reach whoever they want, whenever they want? Relatives and friends that you just don’t have the time to see become instantly available. Programs like these are the very pinnacle of human technology because they let us stay close to those who matter the most.
WhatsApp is the third most popular social media platform globally in 2022.
WhatsApp ranks among the world’s top three most used social media platforms in 2022. Only Facebook and YouTube are ahead of WhatsApp, while platforms such as Instagram and TikTok are well behind, considering users’ numbers.
Previous research found that Facebook had 2.9 billion social media users. The world's most popular video-sharing platform YouTube features 2.5 billion monthly users. At the time of research, WhatsApp statistics indicated that the platform had two billion monthly users, followed by Instagram (1.4 billion), Weixin/WeChat (1.2 billion), and TikTok (1.02 billion).
However, the popularity of WhatsApp has grown since the research took place, so the gap between this messaging platform and YouTube could be smaller at this point.
WhatsApp Revenue and Finance Statistics
Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014.
Instagram, Chainspace, Oculus VR, OneChat… The list of Meta’s acquisitions just keeps growing. WhatsApp statistics improved after Facebook (the corporation now known as Meta) acquired it, but one of the co-founders, Brian Acton, has regretted his decision to sell the company.
“I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit,” Acton told Forbes. “I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day.”
WhatsApp used to charge a $1 yearly subscription fee.
(CNN, WhatsApp Blog)
In some countries, WhatsApp used to charge $1 a year one year after joining. In others, it used to cost $1 just to download the app. At its peak, the subscription model had 700 million users worldwide, as most people didn’t mind paying a single dollar to get a great app they could use to their heart’s content. However, WhatsApp personal statistics show that usage really kicked off once the subscription model was dropped in 2016.
Since WhatsApp was monetized in a very limited manner, the owners decided that it wasn’t generating any kind of meaningful long-term revenue. They dropped subscriptions, and the app became free to use. So the public came rushing in, and a new influx of subscribers flooded the market. This increased market penetration - once a member of a social group downloads the app and starts using it, they inevitably encourage everyone else from the group to use it.
In 2009, WhatsApp got $250,000 as its first investment.
Brian Acton managed to persuade five friends and ex-Yahoo employees that WhatsApp is a worthy cause. WhatsApp statistics show that this gave it just enough to keep the project going, even though it wasn’t generating much revenue at that point. All five investors got the status of co-founders of the company.
In 2011, Sequoia Capital invested $8 million in WhatsApp.
Before WhatsApp ever became popular, Sequoia Capital saw its potential. In 2011, the firm invested a hefty sum of cash to help jumpstart it, and they got a 15% share of the company.
In 2014, Sequoia Capital invested $50 million more in WhatsApp.
(New York Times)
WhatsApp revenue and usage statistics show that Sequoia Capital’s investment paid off so much that they decided to invest again in 2014. While the information about the ROI of this move isn’t publicly available, in 2014, the New York Times predicted that they could earn 50 times the money they invested.
Meta is monetizing WhatsApp through WhatsApp Business, whose estimated revenue reached close to $298 million in 2021.
Meta does not break down revenue by company, so most data you can find online on the overall WhatsApp revenue are estimates.
In 2021, the corporation previously called Facebook (which is still the name of its flagship social media network) revealed how it is monetizing WhatsApp. It boils down to ads on Facebook and Instagram that can be bought by WhatsApp Business users. The ads include a “click to WhatsApp” button, enabling users to contact WhatsApp Business users.
The estimated WhatsApp Business revenues stood at nearly $298 million in 2021, the largest chunk of which was projected to have been generated in the Asia Pacific region ($113.5 million), ahead of Latin America ($89.4 million) and Europe ($48.6 million).
WhatsApp’s penetration rate among messaging and chat users was nearly 99% in Brazil in April 2022.
Brazil had the highest WhatsApp penetration rate among social and instant messaging app users, at 98.9%, worldwide. The second-biggest WhatsApp market share among social and instant messaging apps was recorded in India, with 97.1%.
The rate in Italy was 97%, followed by Argentina (96%) and Switzerland (95.9%).
WhatsApp Usage Statistics
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, people spent a total of 15 billion minutes on WhatsApp calls each day.
According to the latest available WhatsApp user statistics, the numbers are still fluctuating. But the conditions created by the pandemic have relegated a lot of social interactions to the online world. This significantly boosted the overall numbers for all popular chat programs, especially those supporting voice call functionality.
Before the pandemic, WhatsApp users spent an average of 195 minutes using the app.
These numbers have surged since the onset of the pandemic, but they are still indicative of just how much time people spent on WhatsApp even under normal circumstances.
There were more than 5 million monthly users of WhatsApp Business a year after the launch.
(Google Play, Adweek, TechCrunch)
Initially launched only in five markets, namely the US, Mexico, the UK, Indonesia, and Italy, this Android-based app now has more than 500 million downloads on the Google Play store.
In 2017, 75 billion messages were sent on New Year’s Eve alone.
Booze, dancing, drunken kisses, and instant messages! WhatsApp statistics show that partying is briefly interrupted to wish our loved ones a happy New Year. Once that duty is done, it’s perfectly fine to get back to your cocktail and dance till dawn.
27% of all selfies are shared through WhatsApp and text messaging.
How are you going to show off your sassy new haircut if you don’t take a selfie and send it to all your friends? Well, sure, you could go and see your friends like people did in the 20th century, but that requires time and planning, and you’re a busy bee!
According to the WhatsApp number of users who send selfies, this is one of the easiest ways to show off your pretty face to your whole contact list. In addition to WhatsApp, people also use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat for sharing selfies.
According to the latest available reports, there are more than 1 billion groups on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp groups chat statistics show that this is one of the most popular WhatsApp features. You make a group, add all your buddies to it, have fun chatting excessively for the first few days, and then get annoyed when everyone starts spamming the group chat with awkward memes.
We all have that one group full of ex-classmates where everyone but you seems to be sending messages 24/7, making your phone ping every few minutes until you finally mute it.
70% of WhatsApp users check it daily.
Too often or not often enough? In truth, it makes complete sense for people to check their messaging apps once a day. After all, they help us stay in touch and easily exchange information with other people, so it’s no wonder that most of us stay up-to-date through WhatsApp.
WhatsApp Countrywise User Statistics
WhatsApp is used in over 180 countries.
Interestingly enough, the US is not among the countries with the largest population or the highest market penetration. Chinese apps are strong contenders in the Chinese market, while WhatsApp rules supreme in Africa and Latin America in terms of nationwide market penetration.
India has the most WhatsApp monthly active users - 400 million.
WhatsApp is wildly popular in India. WhatsApp users by country stats show us that numbers keep growing each day, especially now that mobile networks are spreading and smartphones are becoming available to more people. Brazil also has a lot of monthly active users - 120 million. For a country with more than 211 million people, this is impressive.
The countries with the highest WhatsApp market penetration are Kenya (97%), South Africa (96%), Nigeria (95%), and Argentina (93%)
African and South American markets tend to see the largest percentages of their internet users accessing WhatsApp to connect with other users at least once a month. In Malaysia, the percentage stands at 92%, and in Spain and Turkey, it’s 88%. Several other European countries also have comparable WhatsApp usage numbers well above 80%, while the US sits at just around 20%.
88% of women and 86% of men in Germany use WhatsApp.
WhatsApp was the most popular app among Germans in all age groups in the third quarter of 2020. The app had more German users than YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
More than 87% of people who own smartphones in Saudi Arabia are active WhatsApp users.
(Global Media Insight)
In June 2022, WhatsApp was an enormously popular platform in Saudi Arabia, with 87.4% of the internet's total population in the country using it. If we convert the percentage into numbers, we get 30.67 million users. The runner-up among social media platforms in Saudi Arabia was Instagram, with 78% of users, or 27.4 million internet users.
Despite poor overall usage numbers, the US led the world in WhatsApp downloads on Apple’s App Store during Q4 of 2020
In the second quarter of 2022, the number of WhatsApp downloads in the US was 6.6 million. Mexico followed with 1.46 million total downloads, while India had around 1.26 million. The next on the list were the UK (1.21 million) and Indonesia (950,000).
With around 5.8 million downloads on the Google Play store, India leads the world in WhatsApp popularity on Android phones.
In Q2 2022, India had 5.81 million WhatsApp downloads from Google Play. Mexico was second, with just under 5 million downloads by its Android users. Brazil and Indonesia followed with 4.53 million and 4.49 million, respectively. The US was fifth with 3.72 million downloads.
Overall, users of Android, which competes for the title of the global mobile leader, downloaded WhatsApp over 55 million times.
Only 2 million people from China use WhatsApp.
According to chat statistics for WhatsApp apk, the Chinese prefer other messaging programs. WeChat has more than 490 million users in China alone. One of the biggest reasons the Chinese prefer WeChat is because of its end-to-end encryption, which makes it difficult for anyone except the sender and receiver to access messages.
Many countries recorded a steep growth of WhatsApp downloads in Q2 2022.
In the second quarter of 2022, many countries recorded high growth in WhatsApp downloads to Android devices. According to WhatsApp statistics, the leader among them was Denmark, which had a 260.3% increase from Q1 of 2022. Close behind was Japan, with a rise of 243.7% compared to the same period.
Other countries with over a 200% increase were South Korea (214.1%) and Finland (202.1%). Hong Kong (163.1%) and New Zealand (129.5%) took fifth and sixth places in the WhatsApp download growth for the quarter.
50% of people with smartphones in the UK use WhatsApp daily.
According to research, WhatsApp was the second most popular app in the UK in the third quarter of 2022. During this period, 50% of adult Brits used the WhatsApp messaging app daily, while Facebook was ahead with 61%. Other apps with a high daily usage were Instagram with 35% and Meta’s Messenger with 32%.
WhatsApp is cited in 40% of Italy’s divorce cases as evidence against unfaithful partners.
(The Times, Engadget)
Why do people use Whatsapp in Italy, you ask? According to Gian Ettore Gassani from the Italian Association of Matrimony Lawyers, technology has made it easy for cheaters to communicate without the knowledge of their spouses. “Social media has boosted betrayal in Italy by making it easier, first through texting, Facebook, and now WhatsApp,” said Gassani in an interview with the London Times.
Whether messaging apps make it easier to cheat or make it easier to catch cheaters is unclear, but Italians sure are using WhatsApp to its full potential.
The number of Whatsapp downloads dropped during the second week of January 2021.
While 2020 was a difficult year, the coronavirus pandemic isn’t done messing with all aspects of our social and economic lives just yet. It’s hard to make long-term predictions, but some recent trends have definitely been indicative of potential future developments.
Why is Whatsapp popular in the first place? The reason is simple: strict end-to-end encryption and absolute user data and chat privacy.
That being said, how does Whatsapp make money for Meta? In 2021, the corporation revealed this stream of revenue comes from ads on Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp Business users can purchase these ads, which include a “click to WhatsApp” button, enabling users to contact the WhatsApp Business users.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many people use WhatsApp in 2022?
In April 2022, WhatsApp had 2.24 billion monthly active users globally. Compared to the same month of 2021, the WhatsApp monthly active user number increased by 6.4%.
Is there a WhatsApp stock price?
No, WhatsApp does not trade independently. You can only buy shares of its parent company, Meta.
In line with general market trends driven by the geopolitical situation, Meta’s stock price has plummeted since early 2022. Early in the year, the stock traded above $300 per share, while the price was at around $135 per share at the end of Q3 2022.
Which country uses WhatsApp the most?
That would be India. With more than 400 million users, this is the hub of instant messaging. WhatsApp statistics for iPhone show that this app is frequently installed on iOS as well as Android devices in India.
How do I check my WhatsApp stats?
This handy feature is easy to check for anyone who’s using WhatsApp Business. Simply go to WhatsApp business, tap More Options > Settings > Business Settings > Statistics. You should be able to see them now.
How is WhatsApp making money?
WhatsApp is an ad-free application because the creators didn’t want to bother users with ads. They initially charged $1 for a yearly subscription, but now the owners mostly earn money from WhatsApp Business, whose users can purchase Instagram and Facebook ads containing a “click to WhatsApp” button.
What percentage of people use WhatsApp?
If you wonder how many users are on WhatsApp in the United States, the answer is 75.1 million people. Of those, around 19% are aged between 15 and 25. WhatsApp is the most popular among users aged between 26 and 35 since 27% of Americans in this age group use the app.
The 36-45 age group follows with a 20% share of WhatsApp users in the US, while 17% of American WhatsApp users are between 45 and 55 years old. Finally, WhatsApp statistics show that 13% of all users in the US are people over 56 years of age.
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