With 70M Users, WhatsApp Now Way Ahead Of Others In India
At the INK conference, WhatsApp’s Business head Neeraj Arora announced that they have over 70 million users in India. This number is more than double the next best competitor (which is probably Hike Messenger). However, more than the sheer numbers, it is the engagement that makes WhatsApp a near monopoly in mobile instant messaging space.
Just to give you an idea of WhatsApp engagement, close to 70 Billion messages, 1 Billion pictures and over 200 million videos are shared on WhatsApp every single day!
Around April-May, WhatsApp had close to 50 million users based in India. In next 5 months they have added over 20 million. At the global level, WhatsApp may be touching close to 650 million (In August they had 600M active users)
So, how do other players like Hike, WeChat, Line and Viber stack against WhatsApp. Here are the rough numbers.
- WhatsApp – 70 Active Million (as of Oct 2014)
- Hike – 35 registered million (as of Aug 2014)
- Line – 30 Million (as of Oct 2014)
- Viber – 25 million (as of Aug 2014)
- WeChat – < 20 million (approximation. no numbers available)
It is interesting to note that WhatsApp reports users that are active. Whereas, everyone else give registered user numbers, which again shows the kind of monopoly WhatsApp has in Indian mobile instant messaging market. As a thumb-rule less than 1/3rd of the registered users are generally active. From that perspective, WhatsApp may have nearly 150 million registered users in India.
WhatsApp’s growth has been phenomenal to put it mildly. Even when Facebook made the blockbuster $19B acquisition of WhatsApp, many thought that WhatsApp may decline. But WhatsApp’s growth has only accelerated if anything.
Every now and then, there is a news like “Hike getting more popular than WhatsApp”, but, at the stage WhatsApp has reached, especially in India, it is going to be very difficult for any other player to challenge them, forget dethroning them from their top position.
Recently, rumours have been rife that WhatsApp may introduce free voice calling feature. If that happens, with the kind user base WhatsApp has, their popularity may increase even further.