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WhatsApp claims to have 70 million active users in India

WhatsApp logoFacebook owned mobile messaging app WhatsApp claims to have reached 70 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India, WhatsApp business head Neeraj Arora has told PTI.

This is up from 65 million Indian MAUs in August this year, indicating that the company has added five million MAUs in the past two months. It had claimed to have 50 million monthly active users in India in May this year. India is currently the largest market for WhatsApp that had claimed to have 600 million monthly active users worldwide as of August this year.

Revenues: Last week, WhatsApp had reported a net loss of $232.51 million for the six month ended June 30, 2014, a significant increase from $58.8 million loss in the same period last year.

Net revenues for the messaging app was at $15.3 million for the period, as compared to $2.76 million in the same period last year. This was the first time Facebook has disclosed WhatsApp revenues after it closed the $22 billion acquisition earlier this month. More on the company’s financials and the Facebook deal breakdown here.

While the company hadn’t disclosed any region-wise split of its revenues, Arora had earlier told Medianama that India is not a significant revenue market for the company yet but it isn’t a no-revenue market as well. This is because WhatsApp has chosen not to push subscriptions on Android so far due to lack of carrier billing integration on Google Play.

Competition: WhatsApp essentially competes with other players like Tencent’s WeChat, Bharti Softbank-backed Hike, Rakuten’s Viber and Naver Corp’s LINE.

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While none of WhatsApp’s competitors have disclosed its monthly active user base for India yet, which we feel is a true measure for a messaging app, Tencent’s WeChat is probably the nearest competitor for WhatsApp globally with 438 million MAUs as of August this year, although a majority of these is from China.

Last month, LINE had claimed to have 30 million registered users in India, although note that LINE does seem to have a quite low percentage of active users. Globally, only 30.4% of its 560 million registered users were active as of October last year. Hike also claimed to have 35 million registered users as of August this year, with over 90% users from India and 50% active every month.

Also read:

– On Telecom vs Internet in a post WhatsApp Voice scenario
– WhatsApp’s Business Head Neeraj Arora on Carrier Deals & Voice, Biz Dev Plans, India, Payments
– WhatsApp’s Business Head Neeraj Arora on Integration Of Services, The Facebook Deal & Why He Joined WhatsApp

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