WhatsApp now more popular globally than Twitter. Challenging Facebook on usage

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whatsappIt 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.

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11 Comments

  1. this is a brilliant strategy and business model applied by the developers Whatsapp, I wish all start ups had as much vision and patience.By making this app cross-platform (available on all mobile Os old and new), simple and free.They have managed to amass a great number of users, when they decide to do advertising and start charging for the App they are going to generate enourmous revenue and give it so much value.I can understand why Google is interested,its the advertersing and revenue potential of this App they want to exploit..another score for the developers(every tech company is going to be interested in acquiring them). Kudos to the developers .

  2. Future says:

    I’m wondering why they charge iPhone, BlackBerry users instead of offering the WhatsApp for free as an ad supported app

    1. Farai Sairai says:

      I think it stems form the fact that they enjoy a larger user base on Android than IOS/BOS worldwide. Could be that they using IOS/BOS users a test platform to see revenue potential before unleashing the pay factor on the Android users.

    2. Whatisup says:

      See position on ads:

      Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.
      – Tyler Durden, Fight Club

      http://blog.whatsapp.com/index.php/2012/06/why-we-dont-sell-ads/

  3. Mbuso Ndlovu says:

    The application is now ripe for selling to the highest bidder. That is how they are going to be the next billionaires. Google and facebook are the possible suitors.

  4. Time says:

    Whatsapp may be great for us, the people, but in a businesses viewpoint, it may be an absolute dud. Sure it has millions of users but as soon as a company buys it and dares try to stick me with ads or whatever, I and Im sure many other millions, will simply move onto the next great simple adless non commercial app. There are already other great ones out there but Whatsapp beat em to the punch and got a lions share of the market.

    I just hope the guys at whatsapp sell now to avoid the mistakes of the likes of groupons financial woes in the long run as their model may have seemed great at first but was really unsustainable as they failed to secure repeat customers . Whatsapp might aswell sell to Google since it pretty much already knows and tracks everything we do on the internet nowadays :p

    1. Farai Sairai says:

      I second that. It may not be about the money but about keeping the app alive. Remember Jerry Yang and his rebuff of M$’s $44b buyout in 2007 or 2008 I think? Look at Yahoo now battling to catch up to the rest of the planet. Sell whilst it’s still hot!!!!

  5. WastedMyEyeballsOnThis says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why you would compare an Instant messaging app to an Email application (GMail), a comparison to GTalk woulda made a wee bit more sense, dontya think?

    1. comparable as both are messaging applications. They achieve the same end to a large extent.

  6. Sipho Sibanda says:

    Whatsapp really did good twaeking of what used to be Jabber and middle ware messaging platform based on XMPP The smart part that hit people ding dong is where they use the person’s mobile number as login name ane hence give peep and impression that its an SMS service of some sort ! Go Jabber !

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