Top WhatsApp Statistics Every Business and Marketer Should Know

At a glance:

  • As per the latest WhatsApp statistics, more than 5 million businesses are actively connecting with customers on WhatsApp; as many as 80% with the opinion that it helps business grow. 
  • Traditional social networks have moved to the sidelines, making way for WhatsApp-like messaging platforms to become the default ‘life app’. As a result, there are new opportunities for businesses and marketers. In addition to facilitating connections, WhatsApp is one of the important conduits of commerce and customer service today.
  • In 2020, WhatsApp-based automation emerged as the key to quickly developing and scaling digital presence. 

Messaging apps are easily the most used application on any smartphone. According to Statista, 3 billion people rely on phone-based messaging apps to connect and communicate with one another. And worldwide, there is no parallel to WhatsApp, which, as per the latest WhatsApp statistics, leads this category with 2 billion active users, up from over 1 billion MAU in February 2016. This makes 2009-born WhatsApp the biggest messaging service in the world, far ahead of all other messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger (1.3 billion MAU) and Tencent’s WeChat (1.2 billion MAU). The OTT messaging platform projected 2.7 billion users for 2020 and 2.87 billion for 2021.

As per the most recent WhatsApp usage data, the messaging app handles close to 65 billion messages every day, about 41 million messages per minute. This puts Whatsapp right at the top as the online activity that consumes the most number of minutes per day anywhere in the world. 

With WhatsApp clearly turning out to be the default ‘life app’ for people everywhere, sweeping opportunities exist for businesses that are thinking about expanding the boundaries of how they reach out to and grow their audiences. In this post, find curated sets of WhatsApp statistics we think everyone should know, especially if you are a business owner and a modern-day marketer who is looking to tap into WhatsApp for business purposes and needs a solid basis for making decisions to that end. 

Note: We have been mindful of not including dated statistics. Each is recent and updated periodically.  

10 Most Striking WhatsApp Statistics (c. 2020)

  1. As of April 2020, WhatsApp is the 4th most downloaded app in the world.
  2. WhatsApp now registers 1 million new users every day. In January 2020, WhatsApp hit 5 billion installs on the Google Play Store making it only the second non-Google app to achieve this milestone.
  3. Presently, 1 billion people all over the world use WhatsApp daily. 70% use WhatsApp at least once a month. 
  4. 58% of all WhatsApp users use the app several times a day. Estimates suggest that an active user checks WhatsApp at least 23 times a day. 
  5. WhatsApp records more than 5 million daily active Status users.  
  6. WhatsApp is available in over 40 languages on iPhone and up to 60 on Android. 
  7. As per 2019 estimates on WhatsApp usage by country, the most number of WhatsApp users are in India (400 million), followed by Brazil (120 million) and then the US (68 million).
  8. India records the highest average time spent on social media, amounting to 17 hours per week. A large proportion of that time is spent on WhatsApp.
  9. According to Whatsapp statistics published by Statista in 2019, Saudi Arabia has the highest share of the population on WhatsApp (73%), followed by Germany (65%) and Indonesia (40%), as of 2017.
  10. According to Whatsapp usage data published by eMarketer in 2019, WhatsApp market penetration is highest in the Netherlands at 85.6%, followed by Italy (85.3%) and Spain (84.3%).

The Long and Short of WhatsApp for Business

Facebook bought Whatsapp for $19.3 billion in 2014; squarely 19 times what it paid for Instagram just two years earlier. Since then, the social networking Goliath has made dedicated efforts to expand the use-cases of WhatsApp. 

WhatsApp as a platform for supporting business was unveiled by Facebook in 2018 with the launch of WhatsApp Business App, a free-to-use platform designed with small business owners in mind. Later that same year, WhatsApp released its enterprise product – WhatsApp Business API. Unlike the Business App, WhatsApp API is a pay-per-messaging platform. It lets businesses respond to user messages for free for up to 24 hours but charges a fixed rate (by country) for every message sent thereafter. This is the only way WhatsApp currently makes money. And per the latest statistics, WhatsApp Business app has been downloaded on over 100 million android devices in the world.

The announcement of the new app and enterprise-only capabilities was a Cambrian moment for businesses both big and small, and WhatsApp quickly started becoming the go-to-channel for [affordably] extending business reach, creating new revenue streams, and enhancing a business’s ability to offer 24×7 customer support.

Key Statistics related to WhatsApp Business App

  1. Within a year of its launch, 5 million businesses had started using WhatsApp Business App.
  2. Today, there are 50 million businesses active daily on the WhatsApp Business App
  3. India (with 15 million MAU) and Brazil (5 million MAU) are the biggest markets for the WhatsApp Business App today.
  4. 84% of SMBs in India believe that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers.
  5. 80% of SMBs in Indian believe WhatsApp helps them grow their business.

WhatsApp bots: The next big thing in customer service

With the traditional way of customer service approaching maturity or obsolescence, businesses are increasingly turning to messaging chatbots, including WhatsApp chatbot, to expand the scope of what they can do in customer service. 

Moreover, with automation becoming a strategic priority for many businesses, in the light of the recent pandemic, messaging chatbots have emerged as a silver bullet solution for ensuring their customers have round the clock access to business information as well as customer support. Even WHO has opted into chatbots for dispensing useful information related to COVID-19 worldwide this year. 

Key statistics related to chatbots

  1. 67% of consumers worldwide used a chatbot for customer support in the past year.
  2. Business Insider Intelligence reports that the adoption of chatbots will save companies in the healthcare, banking, and retail sectors close to $11 billion annually by 2023 due to their ability to reduce the burden of administrative tasks.
  3. By using chatbots, businesses and consumers will save a combined 2.5 billion hours by 2023. 

If you have never previously used a chatbot and want to get a first-hand feel of the technology before an org-wide adoption, we recommend starting with a WhatsApp chatbot. It’s a powerhouse of features and its varied scope allows you to try out multiple use cases – commerce to customer service – easily.

whatsapp statistics and whatsapp usage
WhatsApp Statistics: At a Glance

WhatsApp usage: Pre-pandemic and now

Back in 2015, it was reported that a WhatsApp user spent roughly 195 minutes on the app every day. More recently the usage has gone up at least 40% across geographies. 

Communication apps like WhatsApp and Messenger are increasingly becoming a tool de jour for a world that is struggling to keep connections and conversations going. Since the start of the pandemic, there has been increased usage across all messaging platforms; the biggest bump seen within the under-35 age group. Perhaps an indication of rising interest in intimate, one-to-one communication over broadcasting. 

According to a recent Kantar report, WhatsApp has seen a 40% increase in usage since March 2020; in the early phase of the pandemic usage went up 27% and in mid-phase 41%. For countries in the later phase of the pandemic, there was a 51% bump in the use of WhatsApp.

Key statistics related to WhatsApp usage during the pandemic

  1. 19% of US internet users said they are spending more time on messaging services as a result of the pandemic.
  2. Since March 2020, the average Indian is spending close to 5 hours on a VOIP chat app like WhatsApp. 
  3. WhatsApp has been the second most preferred platform for receiving customer support through the pandemic 

In many ways now is the most opportune time to be using WhatsApp for business. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift away from in-person service to digital customer service. As per the latest WhatsApp statistics, the messaging platform has played a critical role in catalyzing this trend. On the back of innovations like WhatsApp store, chatbots, and automated messaging, businesses have stayed connected with their mobile-internet using customers who are actively seeking service, support, and product information online. More ambitiously, WhatsApp has proved to be one of the easiest to adopt remote-working infrastructures, especially for small businesses looking to move a major chunk of their service demand online. 

To WhatsApp or not

It took less than 3 years for the combined user base of the top 4 messaging apps, including WhatsApp, to surpass that of leading social networks. And even today, the sheer stickiness of a messaging app like WhatsApp, which adds a million users per day just from India, Europe, and Latin America, is higher than any other app installed on a smartphone. Sometimes as much as 1.9 times in many cases.

Clearly, it’s a blasé thing to say that WhatsApp has won the love and admiration of people everywhere. Part of the lure of WhatsApp lies in the fact that it offers a simple, gimmick-free messaging environment. But its usefulness exceeds its ability to connect people; now connecting us to brands, businesses, and helpful bots for all ends and means.

Traditionally, offline businesses looking to move online (partly or wholly) have had to deal with complicated infrastructures and processes. But now, by using WhatsApp for business, the time-to-online is extremely fast and the benefits accrue even faster. As it stands, when you make it easy for businesses to sell through WhatsApp, they will. And by the looks of the latest WhatsApp statistics, they will continue to do so in the years ahead. 

If you are looking to try out WhatsApp automation or want to set up a chatbot, check out this post

 

Illustrations by Harshini Tanneeru