On the second day of 2013, WhatsApp tweeted that it had reached a new milestone: 7 billion inbound messages a day. This happened little more than four months after August 23, when WhatsApp had reached 4 billion inbound messages a day.
The mobile messaging service announced today that it set a WhatsApp record on New Year’s Eve, processing 18 billion messages on the last day of the year. The company said it delivered 7 billion inbound messages and 11 billion outbound messages, surpassing its previous record of 10 billion messages processed in August.
In Zimbabwe it costs an average of 8 cents to send an sms but with the advent of Whatsapp, being absolutely free yet you are charged on the size of data processed according to you ISP terms of of service, sending a whatsapp message costs close to nothing! This has made it the most popular platform to communicate although some people are still limited by the “right” handsets which are compatible with the app
75% volume growth since August 23 would translate to roughly 500% annualized volume growth. The calculation is muddied by the fact that the New Year’s Eve is one of the heaviest messaging days of the year. The really interesting comp would be the one between New Year’s Eve 2011 and New Year’s Eve 2012, but WhatsApp has a tendency to release volume information rather capriciously.
Nevertheless, the growth is white hot. The three monhts leading to November 2012 was the period when RIM’s subscriber base finally started shrinking globally. The combination of turbo-charged WhatsApp messaging growth and a new wave of dirt cheap Android models from Samsung, Huawei and ZTEprobably has something to do with the slowing BlackBerry momentum in Africa and South-East Asia. Google has been able to build a smartphone vendor armada that is willing to push the price of low-end devices to below $150. This is now expanding Android market share dramatically in former BlackBerry strongholds of Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, Philippines and Indonesia.
WhatsApp is benefiting from the global clash of BlackBerry, Android and iPhone camps, because it offers a cross-platform messaging solution. On January 1, 2010, WhatsApp was a top-10 iPhone app in 16 countries across the world. a year later, the app had hit the top-10 chart in 63 countries and remains there even now in 54 countries. It’s a top-5 iPhone app in several markets that are particularly important to RIM – Malaysia, South Africa and Indonesia. Interestingly, WhatsApp is also either number 1 or number 2 app in Malaysia, South Africa and Indonesia in the Google Play app charts.
A month ago there was some speculation about Facebook possibly acquiring WhatsApp. In reality, the WhatsApp active user base that now likely tops 200 million combined with maintaining a torrid growth clip makes the company a tempting target for a variety of companies ranging from Google to Twitter to Amazon. Several social networking and/or messaging companies have reached 100 million users – but maintaining annualized message volume growth of 300%-plus long after hitting that mark is another matter.