WhatsApp Statistics: Users, Revenue, Message Volume and More

If you’re one of those who thought that WhatsApp was only meant for instant messaging your friends and maybe your family, you would be very much mistaken. Thanks to new functionality being rolled out, it’s now also turning into a useful tool that businesses can use to connect with their potential customers and vice versa. 

Also, if you didn’t know it, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for 19 billion US dollars. This already happened in 2014. So, it’s not new news. However, more interestingly, thanks to the profits that Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, made with this deal, he’s currently one of the richest social media billionaires across the globe. For the really interesting statistics about its revenue, message volume, and demographics, be sure to continue reading. 


WhatsApp Stats: Users, Revenue, Message Volume and More:


1. There Are 5.22 Billion Unique Mobile Phone Users Across the World

To put many of the statistics that we’ll list in this article in perspective, here’s a number to keep at the back of your mind. As of January 2021, there were 5.22 billion unique mobile phone users across the world, according to data shared by Hootsuite in its Digital 2021 Global Overview Report. This works out to two thirds of the global population. It’s up by 1.8% (93 million users) from 2020.  

Of the 5.22 billion mobile phone users, virtually everyone (96.6%) owned a smartphone. 


2. More Than Half of Internet Users Use It for Communication

The main reason that internet users aged 16 to 64 use the internet is to get info. Almost two thirds of users across the world indicated that this was their primary reason for surfing the web. 

The second most popular reason that internet users in this age group identified was to stay in touch with friends and family. In fact, keeping up to speed with what was happening in the lives of loved ones is more important to them than staying up to date with events and news. 


3. WhatsApp Has 2 Billion Monthly Active Users

Statistic: Most popular global mobile messenger apps as of October 2021, based on number of monthly active users (in millions) | Statista

According to data shared by Statista, at the end of July 2021, WhatsApp boasted two billion monthly active users across the globe, making it the most popular global mobile messenger app. Basically, in a span of five years, it doubled its monthly active users, much faster than it took to get its first billion. According to a graph shared by Statista, it took WhatsApp 8.5 years to reach one billion monthly active users. 

In second position, it was Facebook Messenger with 1.3 billion monthly active users and WeChat came in close third with just over 1.2 billion monthly active users.   

While QQ, Telegram, and Snapchat are also some of the most popular mobile messenger apps, none of these had more than a billion monthly active users yet. 


4. India Has the Most WhatsApp Users

Source: statista.com

It might come as a surprise, but most WhatsApp users come from India. As of June 2021, it’s estimated that there were more than 487 million WhatsApp users in India. There are more than triple as many users in India than there are in Brazil, the country with the second biggest following.

Indonesia has the third most number of WhatsApp users (84.8 million), while the United States was only in the fourth spot with 79.6 million. 


5. In 2020, The Highest Number of App Downloads Were From India 

The most number of WhatsApp mobile app downloads in 2020 across the globe came from India. In 2021, this trend continued and in Q1 2021, India was once again leading the way with over 18 million downloads via Google Play. In total, the WhatsApp app was downloaded 75.4 million times across the world during this quarter which means that India accounted for almost 24% of the downloads.  


6. France Has the Highest Growth of WhatsApp Downloads

While France might not have the highest number of downloads in the first quarter of 2021, the growth rate deserves special mention. As of Q1 2021, France boasted the fastest-growing WhatsApp market. According to data shared by Statista, WhatsApp downloads from the Apple App Store for this region increased by 38.8% compared to Q4 2020.  

Sri Lanka had the second highest growth for this period (31%), while Malaysia’s growth of 22.1% was the third highest. 


7. It Has More Male Users

According to data from GlobalWebIndex (GWI), as of Q3 2020, it was used by more men than women. Just over 50% of its users were male. Female users made up only 45.5% of its total user base.  


8. About 100 Billion Messages Were Sent Per Day in 2020

At the end of October 2020, Will Cathcart, the Head of WhatsApp, revealed in a tweet that in the past year their service delivered more or less 100 billion messages per day. 


9. Users Are Spending Billions of Minutes Talking Each Day

Increasingly more people are using the voice and video calling feature offered by WhatsApp. According to company data, during March 2020, users on average spent more than 15 billion minutes talking each day via WhatsApp calls. 

At the end of April 2020, the company also increased the number of participants who could join a WhatsApp voice or video call at a time from four to eight. 


10. The Average Time Spent Per User Is Nearly 20 Hours Per Month

According to data gathered by App Annie, the average time a user spent on WhatsApp was 19.4 hours per month in 2020, while it was 9.3 hours for WhatsApp Business for the same period (if you don’t know what WhatsApp Business is, jump to statistic #18 on our list or our FAQ section at the end). To put this in perspective, only 2.7 hours were spent on Facebook Messenger per month per user. 


11. It’s Expected That There Will Be Over 85 Million US Users in 2023

In 2019, just over 68 million US mobile phone users used WhatsApp. According to data shared by Statista, it’s expected that this number will be 85.8 million users by 2023. 

As mentioned earlier, it might come as a surprise, but the US doesn’t have the most WhatsApp users. While there are millions of US users, when it comes to US audience reach, it lags behind Facebook Messenger and Snapchat. Facebook Messenger has a reach of 57% among US mobile users, while Snapchat has a reach of 24.6%. 


12. It’s One of the Most Important Apps for US Users

In the majority of countries, Facebook and Google own more than half of the top 10 most important apps, a report that AudienceProject completed reveals. According to AudienceProject Insights 2020, Facebook is the app that Americans can least do without on their mobile phone. WhatsApp was identified as only the 8th most important app as of Q3 2020 and Facebook Messenger as the 10th most important app. 

Though, Snapchat is more popular than WhatsApp among US mobile users younger than 26. It was listed as the third most important app (after Instagram and YouTube). WhatsApp didn’t even make the Top 5 list of most important apps for this age group.   

On the other hand, British mobile users younger than 26 prefer WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger over Snapchat. 


13. Almost 1 in 5 US Users Have Considered Leaving WhatsApp

While WhatsApp is one of the most important apps to people in the United States, a study that was completed in the third quarter of 2020 revealed that 16% of users in the US have considered leaving WhatsApp. The biggest chunk (45%) considered leaving Facebook, while about a third considered giving up Snapchat. 


14. It’s the Most Important App Among British Users

On the other hand, according to numbers for Q3 2020, WhatsApp is the most important app among British mobile users. Almost a quarter (24%) indicated that it’s the app that they can least do without on their mobile phone. Facebook Messenger was only the fourth most important app. 

While GlobalWebIndex’s data indicated that more men used the messenger service than women, WhatsApp is slightly more important to British women than men. A quarter of women identified it as their most important app compared to 21% of men. 


15. It’s the Most Important App Among German and Finnish Users of All Age Groups

When looking at the messenger app preferences of German mobile users, WhatsApp is by far the most important app with 60% indicating that it’s the app that they can do least without on their mobile app. No other messenger app even made their top 10 list of most important apps. 

What’s more, 89% of German WhatsApp users indicated that they use the platform on a daily basis. Virtually all users (98%) used the app at least once a week. 

With regards to Finnish users, the competition among apps was closer. Only 47% indicated that it was their most important app. Unlike German users, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger were also important to Finnish users, while not nearly as important as WhatsApp. That being said, WhatsApp’s popularity increased by more than 15% in five years among Finnish users, while Snapchat’s popularity increased by only 5%. So, based on this growth rate since 2016, it’s safe to say that the gap between WhatsApp and other messenger services will only increase in Finland. 


16. It’s Less Popular in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden

While WhatsApp is popular in many countries across Europe, it doesn’t really feature in Scandinavian countries. In Denmark, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat were identified as the go-to tools for instant messaging, while WhatsApp didn’t even make it to the top 10 list. To put it in perspective, 60% of Danes use Snapchat on a daily basis, while less than a third (26%) use WhatsApp every day. 

In Norway, the picture looks almost identical. However, here Snapchat is more important than Facebook Messenger. More than 70% (74%) of Norwegians indicated that they use Snapchat daily. On the other hand, only 38% of Norwegians use WhatsApp on a daily basis. 

Over in Sweden, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat are also the preferred messenger app. However, 4% have indicated that WhatsApp is their 10th most important app in 2020. It moved one spot down the list from the previous two years. So, there’s a good chance that in the coming years, it will no longer be one of the apps Swedes can’t function without. 

In 2020, just over 40% of Swedes indicated that they use WhatsApp on a daily basis. The majority (78%) used it at least once a week. 


17. It’s the Most-downloaded Messenger App 

All in all, irrespective of the demographics or its users, WhatsApp is the messenger app that received the most downloads in recent months globally. Based on figures shared by Appfigures, WhatsApp was the most-downloaded messenger app across the globe in August 2021. It was downloaded almost 40 million times! The most downloads (29 million) were via Google Play with only 10 million downloads coming via the iOS App Store. 

It was followed by Snapchat (34 million downloads), Facebook Messenger (27 million downloads), and Telegram Messenger (27 million downloads). 

The top three most-downloaded apps were all social media apps: Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. 


18. WhatsApp Business Has 50 Million Users

Many might not know it, but WhatsApp also has a tool for businesses to communicate with their customers - WhatsApp Business. According to Facebook’s latest available data shared in January 2021, it boasted 50 million users.  

It was launched in January 2018 with the goal of helping small businesses to connect with their customers. One of the benefits of this app is that if you use a separate business phone number, you can install both WhatsApp Messenger (for personal use) and WhatsApp Business on the same mobile device, but register them using separate numbers. Businesses can also use it to create profiles that list their business website, address, and other contact details. What’s more, businesses can even use this app with a landline phone number on which their customers can message them. In addition to these extra features, WhatsApp Business also offers all the other features that WhatsApp Messenger does. 

With regards to downloads, in September 2021, the app was downloaded 16 million times, according to Sensor Towers. According to Appfigures, the number of downloads were even higher, with 22 million downloads just for that month. In July, it was also the first time that the WhatsApp Business app made the Top Apps by Downloads list, by squeezing in at position number 9, just ahead of CapCut. 


19. 175 Million People WhatsApp a Business Account Daily

Will Cathcart, the Head of WhatsApp, tweeted on January 8, 2021, that more or less 175 million people message a business account on a daily basis. This number shows how common practice it’s to send businesses a WhatsApp message in several countries. 


20. It’s One of the Top 20 Most-visited Websites

If you didn’t know, WhatsApp also has a website and can be accessed via a Mac or Windows PC. It’s actually one of the Top 20 most-visited websites. According to Semrush, it’s the 19th most-visited website, while Similarweb places it in 14th position. 


21. It’s One of the Top Search Queries

When looking at the most common queries that people searched for via Google in 2020, WhatsApp is listed as the 13th most common search query. As a matter of fact, it was searched more often than Gmail, Twitter, and Hotmail, according to Google Trends. 

What’s more, it enjoyed a year-on-year increase of 72%. Of all the top 20 search queries, only the word “corona” had a higher year-on-year increase.


22. It Has a Shopping Feature

Another feature that many might not know about is Carts. Launched in December 2020, it’s useful for when you need to message a business that usually sells multiple items together, while making it easier for businesses to track inquiries and manage sales. In short, this feature lets people browse a catalog, pick a number of products and then message it as a single order to the business.  


23. A Third of Internet Users Are Worried About Misuse of Personal Data

In May 2021, WhatsApp introduced a new controversial privacy policy. Many were concerned that the changes would mean that WhatsApp would share private messages with Facebook. Though, according to the company’s explanation, the changes would actually only affect messages that were sent to businesses. 

Nevertheless, according to the findings of a broad global survey of internet users aged 16 to 64, a third indicated that they have concerns that their personal data online might be misused by companies. It was the highest among Portuguese users (53.9%), followed by Spanish users (53.4%). 

With regards to age group, it’s a more common concern among older users with over 40% of global internet users older than 55 indicating that they’re worried about how companies use their personal data. 


Wrapping Things Up

While WhatsApp’s changes to its privacy policy earlier this year might have caused some to rethink whether or not they should upgrade their app, it’s clear from looking at these statistics that it remains one of the most powerful and popular apps across the globe. As a matter of fact, many have ranked it as the most important app on their mobile device – right up there with the likes of Gmail, Instagram, and Facebook. 

If these statistics still don’t convince you, the fact that it made international headlines when the app was down for a couple of hours earlier in October should. It just shows you how the entire world has grown dependent on WhatsApp to communicate with friends, family, and even co-workers.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Do more people use WhatsApp than Facebook Messenger? 

WhatsApp is the most popular global mobile messenger app. At the end of July 2021, it was reported that it had two billion monthly active users. Facebook Messenger, on the other hand, had only 1.3 billion monthly active users. It might have taken Facebook Messenger only 4.9 years to get its first billion monthly active users (compared to the 8.5 years that it took for WhatsApp to reach this feat), but WhatsApp’s growth after it recorded its first billion was much faster. 

Which country has the most WhatsApp users?

It might come as a surprise, but most WhatsApp users come from India. As of June 2021, it’s estimated that there were more than 487 million WhatsApp users in India. Brazil has the second most number of users, while Indonesia has the third most number of users. The most number of WhatsApp mobile app downloads in 2020 across the globe also came from India. In 2021, this trend continued and in Q1 2021, India was once again leading the way with regards to app downloads. 

How often do people use WhatsApp?

A lot! It’s estimated that the average time spent on WhatsApp was 19.4 hours per month in 2020 (for WhatsApp Business this was 9.3 hours). If you break it down to message volume and minutes, according to company data, in 2020, more or less 100 billion messages were sent every day. With regards to its voice and video calling feature, users spent over 15 billion minutes talking each day by means of WhatsApp calls during the peak of the pandemic. 

Is WhatsApp popular in the United States?

The United States doesn’t actually have the most WhatsApp users. As of June 2021, it had only 79.6 million users. That being said, US users have identified it as their 8th most important app (it’s more important to them than Facebook Messenger). However, US mobile users younger than 26 still prefer Snapchat. Also, 16% of US WhatsApp users have considered leaving the service. 

What is WhatsApp Business?

WhatsApp Business is a tool for businesses to communicate with their customers. Launched in January 2018, it offers all the features that WhatsApp Messenger offers plus a few extra ones. For example, if you use a separate business phone number, you can install both WhatsApp Messenger (for personal use) and WhatsApp Business on the same mobile device, but register them using separate numbers. What’s more, businesses can even use this app with a landline phone number on which their customers can message them.