The total number of messaging app users worldwide is set to grow 12.1% to 2.52 billion people, according to estimates by eMarketer. But growth is slowing in 2020 to 7.3% or 2.7 billion users.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps worldwide and retains its largest number of users in India where it has 340 million users. Brazil follows in second place with 99 million and the US ranks third with 68.1 million.
When it comes to user penetration, Brazil, Argentina and India over 90% of smartphones users are using WhatsApp in 2019.
“India has been able to amass such a high number of WhatsApp users, partly because the platform can be used on some feature phones, like the JioPhone, which is popular there,” said eMarketer senior analyst Jasmine Enberg. “India’s wide user base has also made it a testing ground for new WhatsApp capabilities, including a payment system. The company has been testing the service in India since 2018, and it is expected to launch nationwide this year, pending regulatory approval.”
It’s not surprising that the US ranks third for WhatsApp usage because users here have adopted other technologies such as Facebook Messenger and iMessage.
Facebook Messenger users in the country are expected to double those of WhatsApp in the country to 117.6 million.
But users often opt for both apps with four of the top 10 countries for WhatsApp usage also among the top countries for Facebook Messenger.
In the UK, 53.5% users use Messenger and 60.1% are WhatsApp users.