Whatsapp is bigger than Twitter

Few smartphone apps have seen the record-breaking success of WhatsApp. Since its release in 2009, the service has become the single most-used smartphone app currently in the iTunes App Store. Hundreds of millions of users send over 18 billion messages per day.

Speaking at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference on Tuesday, CEO Jan Koum said WhatsApp now has more users than Twitter, which itself boasts 200 million monthly active users. The company reportedly received offers from Google earlier this month, however the company said that no such talks had occurred.

Koum went on to state the company processes 12 billion outbound messages and 8 billion inbound every day, far more than any other independent messaging service. With fewer than 50 employed engineers, the company also holds the highest ratio of active users to employees of any in the tech game.

"We're looking forward to a world with billions of phones."

Koum added:

"Once that happens it's going to be extremely easy to monetize. But a lot more people need to join the smartphone revolution and a lot more people need to buy more goods on their phones."

It must be noted, however, that comparing WhatsApp to Twitter is like comparing apples to motorcycle tyres. WhatsApp, as a private messaging service, holds none of the worldwide clout that Twitter does. News breaks and public opinion is measured on Twitter, whereas the conventions of private messaging services such as WhatsApp don't allow for similar exposure. SMS messaging is still larger than every other method of digital communication, but it goes mainly unnoticed.

Source: AllThingsDImage via Wikimedia

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26 Comments

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There's lots of IM apps for smartphones now. I don't know which one to choose! Whatsapp? MessageMe? LINE? Skype? Ahhhh!

I use LINE instead of Whatsapp, although I know 10x as many people on Whatsapp. I see no point to it, why not SMS someone instead of Whatsapping them. Exactly the same thing. That being said I don't message/sms anyone that often to exceed my monthly quota. At least with LINE it offers something ontop of messaging. STICKERS!!! The novelty factor still hasn't worn off.

thm said,
I use LINE instead of Whatsapp, although I know 10x as many people on Whatsapp. I see no point to it, why not SMS someone instead of Whatsapping them. Exactly the same thing. That being said I don't message/sms anyone that often to exceed my monthly quota. At least with LINE it offers something ontop of messaging. STICKERS!!! The novelty factor still hasn't worn off.
In some places, SMS is not covered by mobile plans but data is. Also, you can send photos/files without extra charges on WhatsApp. That's the point of using it.

thm said,
I use LINE instead of Whatsapp, although I know 10x as many people on Whatsapp. I see no point to it, why not SMS someone instead of Whatsapping them. Exactly the same thing. That being said I don't message/sms anyone that often to exceed my monthly quota. At least with LINE it offers something ontop of messaging. STICKERS!!! The novelty factor still hasn't worn off.

A lot of people have friends/family overseas. My immediate family are split into 3 countries, with relatives split between another few, apps like WhatsApp keeps the international SMS costs down.

In Asia, WhatsApp is largely unnoticed D: LINE Messenger is popular in Taiwan and Japan, Korea uses KakaoTalk, and China uses WeChat.

I have a large number of contacts in all three places, and WeChat is by far the best program, even compared to WhatsApp. It's also worth noting that all 3 are free compared to WhatsApp.

i still wont pay for whatsapp, and i never will. once they ask me for money i guess its the end.

Its good to see that there have so many users hopefully in a future they monetize adding pro features like voice which somehow viber got and its free.

eilegz said,
i still wont pay for whatsapp, and i never will. once they ask me for money i guess its the end.

Its good to see that there have so many users hopefully in a future they monetize adding pro features like voice which somehow viber got and its free.

Over here people seems to be switching to LINE. The UI is not as nice as the Holo Whatsapp but it has otherwise all the features of Whatsapp plus voice calls and a desktop client.

It's also free, since they choose to monetize on extra sticker packs you can buy in their in-app store (most of them being quite on the weird side, which is not that extrange considering it's a japanese app).

That basically means that I have to keep both Whatsapp and LINE installed now to talk with different contacts... longing for the good old XMPP compatible services like GTalk and Jabber where you could just choose any client and talk with everyone without problems.

eilegz said,
i still wont pay for whatsapp, and i never will. once they ask me for money i guess its the end.

Its good to see that there have so many users hopefully in a future they monetize adding pro features like voice which somehow viber got and its free.

only 99cents.... im sure you can find 99 cents under your mattress.

Oh boo hoo. I have whatsapp, liveprofile, gosms pro, gtalk, yahoo im, skype, tango, aim and fb messenger for different people. Suck it up.

Where's the iPad app? I have a friend who wants it on their iPad. I have to go through a bunch of loops to get this thing on there. Not looking forward to the extra time I have to waste because they haven't released it on the iPad yet or removed it. I don't know what their reasoning is. This claim would be much higher if it had the app available for the iPad too.

thehockeyguru said,
Where's the iPad app? I have a friend who wants it on their iPad. I have to go through a bunch of loops to get this thing on there. Not looking forward to the extra time I have to waste because they haven't released it on the iPad yet or removed it. I don't know what their reasoning is. This claim would be much higher if it had the app available for the iPad too.

I don't think it's available for any kind of tablet. They link your account to your phone number and they might not be interested as of now in providing a secondary account ID for devices with no linked number.

I don't know, maybe they want to keep posing as a free SMS service. Releasing the app on non-phone devices like tablets or desktops (which other services like LINE do) might give away too easily that they are just another chat service.

WhatsApp has been #1 Paid App on the iOS chart for months now. I guess it's deserved. Works well for me.

SK[ said,]WhatsApp has been #1 Paid App on the iOS chart for months now. I guess it's deserved. Works well for me.

If they are making money, why does their app UI suck so hard?!?

dagamer34 said,

If they are making money, why does their app UI suck so hard?!?

Not sure about other platforms but they updated the UI on android with Whatsapp v2 and the new Holo theme is actually really nice.

dagamer34 said,
If they are making money, why does their app UI suck so hard?!?

Really? I have no issue with on my Android. It's even more responsive compared to LINE.

benbuffone said,
On iOS the interface hasn't really changed since the first release. Really needs an overhaul!

Well it works well, does what we need, don't really need an overhaul for the sake of an overhaul.

It's crazy how far they've come since 2009. BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has been the number one instant messaging app for a long time. They've not only dethroned BBM, but they also have more users than Kik Messenger which is pretty popular in the US and some parts of Europe.

12 Billion outbound and 8 billion inbound? Surely what's outbound for one person is inbound for another? Im confused.

McKay said,
12 Billion outbound and 8 billion inbound? Surely what's outbound for one person is inbound for another? Im confused.

Spamming multiple recipients would cause more outbound than inbound.

Anaron said,
WhatsApp has group messaging so one message sent will be received by multiple people.

Wouldn't that mean 1 outbound and several inbound?

Figure 8 Dash said,

Spamming multiple recipients would cause more outbound than inbound.

Wouldn't that still result in a inbound message?