Popular mobile messaging app WhatsApp claims to have 20 million monthly active users in India, reports AllThingsD. It also adds that WhatsApp claims to have 300 million monthly active users globally, up from 250 million at end of June 2013, indicating that the company has added 50 million users in about month and a half.
The company also claims to send 11 billion messages and receive 20 billion messages per day at present, up from 10 billion messages sent and 17 billion messages received per day in June. The difference in the sent messages and received messages is due to group chat messages where one message is sent to several recipients.
In comparison, Line claims to have 5 million registered users in India and Bharti-Softbank backed Hike claimed to have 5 million registered users in April 2013. Tencent’s WeChat doesn’t provide any country-wide breakup of its messaging but it had claimed to have 70 million overseas users in July 2013.
What’s refreshing about these WhatsApp numbers is that it gives an accurate indication on how the messaging app is actually performing. We feel a messaging app should be judged on how many monthly active users it has, rather than other metrics like registered numbers or download numbers, which doesn’t provide any insight on whether the app is actually being used actively. However, besides WhatsApp, we haven’t seen any company disclose its monthly active users yet.
WhatsApp Push To Talk: Besides this announcement, WhatsApp has also added a push to talk voice messaging feature to its mobile apps across iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia.
Note that WhatsApp previously offered an option for voice messaging but the voice clips were sent as an attachment to the recipient. The new option is quite similar to what WeChat, Line or Hike offers. It offers a one click voice recording on the text box and there currently seems to be no limit on the length of the voice message. We also noticed that the mic icon changes color to blue, once the recipient has heard it.
RCOM Partnership: Last October, WhatsApp had inked its first telco deal in India with Reliance Communications, to launch a prepaid plan called ‘WhatsApp plan’ which offered Reliance GSM subscribers free unlimited access (alongwith free Facebook access, SMS at Rs 0.05 each, group SMS at Rs 3 each) for Rs 16/month.
Earlier this year, WhatsApp had also partnered Nokia to launch Nokia Asha 210 with a dedicated WhatsApp button and a free lifetime subscription on all Nokia Asha 210 devices.