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 2023 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 2023!
1. Number of WhatsApp Users
The first item on the list of WhatsApp statistics you need to know is the number of WhatsApp users.
As of June 2023, there are more than 2.78 billion unique WhatsApp users around the globe—and rising (Statista, 2023). This marks a 10.5 percent increase from the previous year’s 2.49 million users.
It’s even slowly inching towards the number of users the king of social media, Facebook, has. The latest data from the second quarter of 2023 shows there are 3.03 billion monthly active Facebook users.
The high number of WhatsApp users means great reach potential for brands. But before you get all excited, know that while its parent company, Meta, had previously floated the idea of offering ad placements on WhatsApp, it was a move that was met with much controversy, forcing Meta to abandon the plan. Just recently, the company disputed reports that suggested it had decided to move forward with introducing ads on WhatsApp.
Ads or no ads, given WhatsApp’s large user base, it’s a channel you should focus your communication efforts on 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 2 billion of its users access the messaging app every month (Statista, 2021). That’s 700 million (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 August 2022, WhatsApp Messenger app downloads on iOS operating systems came in at around 11 million (Sensor Tower, 2022). Downloads for WhatsApp Inc.’s messenger apps totaled 13 million altogether, but the other 2 million downloads were for the WhatsApp Business app.
The number of WhatsApp’s app downloads is even higher than some of its closest rivals: Facebook Messenger and Telegram—both were downloaded 7 million times in the same month.
WhatsApp downloads also differ from country to country and it doesn’t appear to be harmonious even across the same regions. In the second quarter of 2022, the United States saw the largest increase in WhatsApp downloads, growing 44.6 percent from the previous quarter. Global downloads, on the other hand, decreased by 35.4 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 dozen 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 487.5 million users in the South Asian country (MessengerPeople, 2022). That puts it way ahead of WhatsApp’s second-largest market, Brazil, which is home to 118.5 million users. In fact, WhatsApp was downloaded nearly 6 million times on Google Play devices in India alone in the second quarter of 2022.
In spite of its Californian roots, WhatsApp is surprisingly not as popular in the US as most would expect. Of the most popular social media platforms there, WhatsApp ranks tenth, used by just 28.6 percent of the population.
It appears most mobile messenger app users in the US prefer to communicate through rival platforms such as Facebook Messenger and iMessage, which are used by 61.1 percent and 40.2 percent of the population, 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.
6. Messages Sent via WhatsApp Daily
In late 2011, WhatsApp announced a new milestone: More than a 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 younger crowds.
According to a recent survey, approximately one-third (31 percent) of US adults aged 18 to 34 say they have a WhatsApp account, making this the age group with the highest WhatsApp penetration (Morning Consult, 2022). However, WhatsApp is far from being young adults’ favorite social network. YouTube’s penetration among users of this age group is as high as 89 percent, while Instagram’s is 75 percent and TikTok’s is 58 percent.
WhatsApp’s usage in the US decreases with age. Moving into the next age bracket of 35 to 44, penetration drops to 27 percent, and only one in five (20 percent) of consumers between the ages of 45 to 64 say they use WhatsApp. Meanwhile, just 11 percent of US adults aged 65 and above use WhatsApp.
9. WhatsApp Business Statistics
In just 1.5 years after WhatsApp launched its B2B initiative in January 2018, WhatsApp Business had clocked more than 50 million business users. Today, that number has surged four-fold, with recent numbers showing over 200 million businesses are now using it every month (TechCrunch, 2023).
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 much 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’ experiences. Just recently, parent company Meta announced it was launching new features. They include the possibility for businesses to send personalized messages to their customers automatically and the creation of “click-to-WhatsApp” ads without requiring a Facebook account.
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 2023:
- There are 2.78 billion unique WhatsApp users worldwide.
- 2 billion WhatsApp users access the app on a monthly basis.
- WhatsApp was downloaded 13 million times in August 2022.
- WhatsApp is available in more than 180 countries and 60 different languages.
- With 487.5 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.
- Nearly one-third of US adults aged 18 to 34 use WhatsApp.
- There are more than 200 million businesses using WhatsApp Business every month.
- 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!