Study: WhatsApp used by 41% of Indian Web users, 3% of U.S. users

A GlobalWebIndex study of worldwide WhatsApp (FB) usage (China/Japan excluded) found nearly 1/5 of all Web-connected adults aged 16-64 in studied markets are now using the service.

However, the figure is only at 3% in the U.S., where plain-vanilla SMS remains widely used, and rival mobile messaging platforms (iMessage, BBM, Gchat, Facebook Messenger) have a decent amount of share.

In 4 locales - Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, and Malaysia - at least half of all Web users aged 16-64 are on WhatsApp. The figure is 41% for India (243M Web users by June, per a recent study), 45% for Spain, and 47% for Mexico.

WhatsApp crossed 500M MAUs in April, and is on a trajectory that could lead it to top 1B next year. Facebook, for reference, had 1.28B MAUs at the end of Q1.

But as the GWI survey highlights, a huge chunk of WhatsApp base is in emerging markets where Facebook has low ARPUs. Facebook has promised not to use ads to monetize WhatsApp, which currently charges a $0.99/year subscription fee in some regions.

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Comments (15)
  • Breezy Breeze
    , contributor
    Comments (43) | Send Message
    Whatsapp is so quick. Messages and pictures get sent quicker. Its just an easier way to message than iMessage and regular texts. All you need is wifi and maybe now 1$ and you're good to go. If all Americans used whatsapp to text instead of using regular sms America would save a lot of money. My wife is Venezuelan and she uses it to message friends and family over there. Maybe we should all switch to whatsapp and save a ton. Death to the phone companies!
    24 May 2014, 12:34 AM Reply Like
  • Viper740
    , contributor
    Comments (417) | Send Message
    iMessage and FaceTime are both completely free and easy to use. I don't see any reason Whatsapp is better than the combination of those.
    25 May 2014, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • Abu Bakr Hussain
    , contributor
    Comments (640) | Send Message
    Viper - because those are Apple/iOS only. Whatsapp is platform agnostic, that includes supporting Nokia Asha phones, Blackberry etc. Basically, if you have a phone that has an app store, chances are Whatsapp is in it...
    plus of course it's the best way out there to keep in touch with international friends and family
    27 May 2014, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (2892) | Send Message
    I know absolutely nothing about Whatsapp and how to use it. I would appreciate it greatly if someone would be kind enough to tell me what I've got to do, to use WA. Does it require that my correspondents must also be using WA also? Maybe, that's one reason why WA had only 3% usage in the U.S. because very few people are using WA.
    24 May 2014, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • digiTrader
    , contributor
    Comments (56) | Send Message
    Benitus, setting up Whatsapp is easy as can be. You download the App, register with your mobile number and add some profile information. You will be instantly visible to those existing Whatsapp users, in which your number is in the contact list. In Germany this service is very, very popular.
    Typical use case is for social groups (schoolkids, study groups, neighbours, friends, interest groups) chatting, coordinating events, sending information, pictures and so on.
    From a product point of view it is like "next generation SMS". SMS used to be a huge business for telecom companies. Now first telco companies are introducing Whatsapp customized contracts.
    When Facebook aquired Whatsapp people tried alernatives like telegram. But in the end Whatsapp is just the better product.


    I think Mark Zuckerberg's move was very intelligent.
    It is hard to escape Facebook these days.
    24 May 2014, 02:43 PM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (2892) | Send Message
    digi...thank you so much for making it clear and simple for an old goat like me. I'll check it out and see whether anyone I know is interested in me. Thanks once again. Have a wonderful week ahead.
    25 May 2014, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • Shaduc
    , contributor
    Comments (2586) | Send Message
    Wasn't the same criticism of Msft buying Hotmail, principally the users were from the Philippines.


    I wonder how it has worked out for Microsoft (I have 1 Hotmail acct, 10 Yahoo and 3 [most active] Gmail accts).
    24 May 2014, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (5931) | Send Message
    I opened a hotmail account, and promptly forgot about it, as there was way too much spam!
    24 May 2014, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • Shaduc
    , contributor
    Comments (2586) | Send Message
    Thanks for reminding me, my Hotmail acct as for warehousing my emails, and then all that spam started erasing the olders, so I cut off, other than 1 or 2 external email addresses, access to the Hotmail acct.
    24 May 2014, 09:09 PM Reply Like
  • Tomal
    , contributor
    Comments (2053) | Send Message
    the new is actually very good. Quite fast and minimal UI like Gmail.


    Spam problem has been largely fixed now, compared to mid 2000s years.
    30 May 2014, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (5931) | Send Message
    So MS can learn from others, after all? It's about time...
    31 May 2014, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • Manitobatex
    , contributor
    Comments (1119) | Send Message
    I have over 30 yahoo email addresses which I need for the different products that I promote , a dozen or so gmail addresses that I also use for business and I prefer the gmail over yahoo...............both have spam. Whatsapp is far better than yahoo, gmail or anything similar and Mr. Zuckerberg is making his contributions and we a leader in the tech world for many years to come, in fact I foresee his Facebook world surpassing the likes of Google by 2025.
    24 May 2014, 11:54 AM Reply Like
  • William Ford
    , contributor
    Comments (90) | Send Message
    I stopped using Hotmail and never missed using it!
    25 May 2014, 05:03 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (484) | Send Message
    Hotmail used to cancel my email address every month if I didn't use it regularly!!!!!!
    26 May 2014, 02:58 AM Reply Like
  • gibmichdiekirsche
    , contributor
    Comments (181) | Send Message
    From what I see in Germany: Old people who hardly used internet, they now buy a smartphone - only because they want to join the groups of their friends and family and hobby soccer team whatever ...
    Whatsapp is the KILLER APPLICATION of mobile, connecting everyone.
    I am sure it will one day also come to Americans.
    It is also very unlikely that it will be replaced, because of these groups. Also I read a comparison to other messengers: Whatsapp is easy to set up - as very well explained above by digitrader. This is crucial.
    And easy sharing pictures is very good.
    Those who argue that other services are also good and in parts better: Maybe, but Whatsapp already has a critical mass.
    Not sure how Zuckerberg will finally monetize it, but I am sure he will. For now he can simply wait for some late countries to onboards their majority to WA.
    Regarding investing: I am quite conservative and own stock of Microsoft, Oracle and SAP with little (combined) downside risk and high moat and high margins.
    I am more and more convinced that FB can be added to this list of stocks. They own platforms for consumers (WA, FB, Instagram), but also get money from enterprises via ads.
    Long FB.
    26 May 2014, 04:54 AM Reply Like
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