It goes without saying especially locally, that WhatsApp is more popular than other social (or instant) messaging services. We can’t even compare Twitter usage to that of WhatsApp in Zimbabwe. I’d hazard a guess and say it’s slightly more popular than or at least just as popular as Facebook. It appears this is the case even globally; WhatsApp, according to AllThingsD, is now “the single-most-used independent smartphone app in nearly every country in the world.”
WhatsApp, its CEO disclosed at a conference this week, now has more users overall than Twitter which recently claimed to have “well more than 200 million”. Jan Koum (the CEO) also indicates they beat Facebook on number of messages processed a day; 8 billion inbound and 12 billion outbound. Facebook reportedly now processes 10 billion messages a day. We’d add and say it’s also probably more popular than Gmail and its social deliberate cousin Plus.
An article by guest blogger, Jabulani Chirinda, last year basically indicated this is the way things would go. “WhatsApp is on a roller coaster to become what Facebook became half a decade ago” he said. And unlike their competition, they are not powered by an ads based model; it’s annual subscriptions.
Which may be reason why negotiations for acquisition have seemingly all come to nought. There are increasingly more rumours that WhatsApp is about to be acquired by the giant internet ad companies, Facebook and Google. Lately mostly Google, but WhatsApp has said no such acquisition is about to take place.
WhatsApp itself has competition bidding for its place at the top of the hill; WeChat for example, by Chinese company Tencent, has basically cloned WhatsApp and added more features to it.