WhatsApp, WeChat and Meta Messenger Apps – Global usage of Messaging Apps, Penetration and Statistics
Messaging apps have become extremely popular! The latest messaging app usage statistics show that WhatsApp has 2.0 billion users worldwide and Facebook Messenger 1.3, while WeChat is just behind with 1.2 billion. What are the trends in individual countries? What are the most popular apps? We have put together an overview of messaging app usage statistics worldwide.
How do people use messaging apps? In our guide, we have compiled user demographics and usage statistics for seventeen different countries and regions, with several infographics. We continuously add countries, messaging apps, and updated usage statistics to this article, so check back on a regular basis for the latest numbers! In this article, you’ll find messaging app usage statistics for the following countries and regions:
- Great Britain
- APAC Region
- South Africa
- Latin America
For an overview of the top messaging apps worldwide – from Apple Business Chat, to WhatsApp, to LINE – and their business potential, check out our series Messaging Apps & Brands.
Monthly active users (in millions) of the most popular messaging apps
WhatsApp, the Messenger by Meta (formerly Facebook Messenger), and WeChat are by far the most popular messaging apps. Together, they combine more than four billion active monthly users.
WhatsApp Usage Oct 30th 2020: WhatsApp is now delivering roughly 100 billion messages a day
WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging app owned by Meta, is now delivering roughly 100 billion messages a day, according to the latest data delivered by the company’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.
Active users of the top social networks and top messenger apps worldwide
Meta is also ahead of its competitors when it comes to active users worldwide. With two billion active users, WhatsApp is the number one messaging app, followed by the Chinese messaging app WeChat with 1.2 billion users and the Messenger by Meta with close to one billion users.
The growth of Instagram is also remarkable, from 1.1 billion users in October 2020 to 1.5 billion users in January 2022. Speaking of impressive growth: Meta competitor TikTok was also able to reach the benchmark of a billion users as of January 2022. As a small player in the messenger world, Telegram also manages to increase the number of active users from 400 to 550 million.
WhatsApp is the favorite social media app worldwide
WhatsApp has the biggest fan base among internet users around the world aged 16 to 64 years old, with 15.7 percent of users picking WhatsApp as their favorite social media app.
There are only 25 countries in the world where WhatsApp is not the market leader. WhatsApp and the Messenger by Meta are growing about twice as fast as Facebook, the original platform (up 30 percent year-on-year). Currently, WhatsApp has the highest distribution of all messaging apps worldwide. If you combine all the existing apps of the Meta universe, the messenger market leaders of only ten countries in the world are not from the Meta dynasty.
Messaging Apps in Great Britain
Number of social media users grows 8.7%
With 57.6 million social media users, the number grows by 8.7 percent or 4.6 million additional users compared to 2021. That said, 99.4 percent of the population older than 13 years is using social media in the UK.
WhatsApp ranked 1st and Messenger by 3rd among most-used social media platforms
WhatsApp is the most-used social media platform in the UK with 74.8 percent of internet users aged 16 to 64. Facebook Messenger comes in third with 58.5 percent before Instagram and Twitter. Apple’s iMessage has a solid user base with 35.4 percent internet usage.
WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are most-used messaging platforms in 2021
According to the latest numbers on Statista (August 2021), WhatsApp stays the most-used messenger service in the UK, with 80 percent market share, ahead of the Messenger by Meta. However, WhatsApp is not only the most-used messenger, it is also the most popular app among British users, according to a recent study by Audience Project. The green messenger beats well-known social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram, but also Gmail, GoogleMaps and Chrome.
Most Brits can’t do without WhatsApp
More Brits aged 55+ are using Messenger by Meta
Messaging apps are also used across all age groups in the UK. People between 25 and 34 years are the most active users in the region. However, users aged 55 years and up are also increasingly using messaging apps.
Compared to August 2020, the percentage of people older than 55 years old using Messenger by Meta grew noticeably from 12.2 percent to 13.4 percent for the age group 55 to 64 and from 9.9 percent to 10.9 percent for the age group of people older than 65.
Messaging Apps in the USA
Use of messaging apps stays stable
The updated statistcs for 2022 show a clear decrease in regular social media use in the United States, except for one category: instant messengers. Other categories, such as social networks, media sharing, blogging or consumer review networks record decreased between two to five percent compared to the previous year, whereas instant messaging on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or WeChat seems unfazed.
Social media usage increases 12,5%
Social media usage in the United States grows by 12.5 percent, with an additional 30 million users in 2022.
1. Messenger by Meta
The Messenger by Meta is the most-used messaging app and second most popular social media platform
When focusing only on messaging apps, the Messenger by Meta stands out, with 82 percent of users reporting to use the messenger regularly. WhatsApp usage also increased by two percent, with now 27 percent of respondents saying they use the service on a regular basis. This means that the green messenger almost caught up to Snapchat, with now being the second most regularly used messenger (not considering video call services) in the US.
WeChat and Viber usage show small improvements, Telegram more than triples its usage from three percent to ten percent.
Among social media platforms, Messenger by Meta ranks second behind the Facebook app.
Most-used social media platforms in USA in 2022 – Source: Datareportal
Isn’t it surprising, that WhatsApp is the leading messaging app in 169 countries, but not in its domestic market, the United States?
Many Messenger by Meta users only buy proven tech
The recently published Global Consumer Survey by Statista can shed some light on why US users are more hesitant when it comes to WhatsApp usage. The survey shows that 41 percent of Messenger by Meta users tend to only buy new tech when it has already proven successful. Consequently, a majority of messenger users in the US are probably also more hesitant when it comes to switching to a different messenger service.
WhatsApp is 3rd in the world for user numbers and 5th in growth
Although not the most popular, a study conducted by eMarketer shows, that the US ranks third in number of WhatsApp users worldwide after India and Brazil.
Also, the US is fifth in growth of user numbers with 10 percent user increase. In other words, the market is far from being saturated.
WhatsApp is exceeding expectations
As mentioned, WhatsApp is rather unpopular within the United States. In fact, a lot of Americans had never heard of the company before Meta bought it in 2014.
In 2016, the prediction for the number of WhatsApp users in the United States for 2019 was 23.4 millions. Nevertheless, the real number was 68.1 million. The number of users in 2023 could easily reach 85 million.
Today, many Americans actively use WhatsApp, not only to communicate with friends and family abroad, but also as their messenger of choice.
Communication apps like WhatsApp are available on practically all devices, whereas native apps like Apple’s iMessage (and now Apple Business Chat) are limited to one provider.
However, the user base for iPhone is constantly growing in the US. A lot of adolescents prefer iMessage to apps like Snapchat in order to reach out to their friends.
As seen in the depiction of most-used social media platforms above, iMessage is still used by over 40 percent of internet users in the US, aged 16 to 64.
Messaging Apps in India
1. General information
India’s internet and social media use is growing
With increasing urbanization and steadily increasing internet usage, the Indian market offers huge potential. It had more than 467 million active social media users in 2022.
The use of social media grew by 4.2 percent, with 19 million additional users year-to-year and the time spent there increased by 7.6 percent.
Moreover, like in the US, India has shown great growth in WhatsApp usage with a 16.6 percent increase in usage. Check out this table above for a more detailed overview.
India is a mobile first country
The internet is accessed more by smartphone than through desktop computers or tablets in India. 55.9 percent of the daily internet time – which is an astonishing seven hours and 19 minutes per day – is spent on cell phones.
WhatsApp is the most-used messenger and social media platform
WhatsApp is first among the most-used social media platforms in India with 81.2 percent of internet users aged 16 to 64. It also surpasses the Messenger by Meta in usage by more than 30 percent.
With 91 percent, WhatsApp is overwhelmingly the most-used messaging app. Messenger by Meta is used by 59 percent, and Telegram ranks as the third most-used messenger (not considering Zoom) with 42 percent of users accessing it.
WhatsApp ranks 1st in monthly active users
Looking at which app in India has the most monthly active users, WhatsApp is in first place and the Messenger by Meta is in fifth place as the next messaging app.
487.5 million Indians use WhatsApp every month!
97 percent of all smartphone users in India use mobile apps for daily communication. For 96 percent of them, WhatsApp is their first choice.
In February 2017, India counted 200 million active users on WhatsApp. Only in four years, this number almost doubled and India now has 390 million monthly active WhatsApp users. In total, there were 487.5 million WhatsApp users in India in 2021.
This makes WhatsApp the clear market leader for messengers in India, where it continues to rank as the most sought-after and most-downloaded app. In contrast, Messenger by Meta has 20 percent less users in direct comparison with WhatsApp.
The demographics of WhatsApp users in India show a tendency towards more male users (59 percent) and a high usage among the age group between 18 to 34 years (total 68 percent).
Majority of WhatsApp users is interested in innovative products
In Statista’s Global Consumer Review, Indian WhatsApp users shared their product preferences. As a result, the study concluded, that 51 percent of users are interested in new and innovative products.
3. Messenger by Meta
Potential Meta Messenger audience for ads in India is 122.5 million users
Meta reports that the number of potential Messenger users in India available for ads over the platform adds up to 122.5 million.
Messaging Apps in Singapore
Messaging apps are the most-used smartphone apps in Singapore
With 81 percent using them on a daily basis, messaging apps are the most-used digital communication tools in Singapore for people 18 and older.
Social media use has risen 6,9% in 2022
With 340,000 additional social media users compared to last year, Singapore’s total number of social media users increased by 6.9 percent to 5.3 million users. The daily time people spend on social media also increased by 14 minutes, which is 10.2 percent more than last year.
WhatsApp is most-used and favorite social media platform for Singaporeans
WhatsApp is the number one social media platform in Singapore in 2022, with 83.7 percent of internet users between 16 and 64 years old using the app. Messenger by Meta is in fifth place with 46.6 percent, which shows a clear preference for the green messaging app.
Singaporeans spend 17 hours per month on WhatsApp
YouTube, Facebook, and WhatsApp are the three most-used social media apps in Singapore.
Messaging Apps in the APAC region
WhatsApp is the most-used app in the APAC region
Not only is WhatsApp a popular communication app in Singapore, it is also number one in other countries in the AsiaPacific Region (APAC): Indonesia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, just to name a few. The market landscape in the APAC region is locally dominated by regional app providers such as WeChat, KakaoTalk or LINE, so it’s specifically impressive that WhatsApp is still being used as an alternative in many countries.
The four leading social apps in Asia are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber and LINE.
Messaging Apps in China
The Chinese use 8 social platforms, social media use is growing
Compared to 2021, the social media use in China grew by five percent. While the Chinese spend almost two hours on social media each day, they are using eight different platforms every month.
WeChat still on top of social media platforms in China in 2022
Unsurprisingly, the Chinese app WeChat still is the most-used and favorite social media platform in China in 2022.
Favorite social media platforms in China in 2022 – Source: Datareportal
WeChat exceeds 1.2 billion users
WeChat has published new numbers for the third quarter in 2021, and now counts more than 1.2 billion users, out of which at least 900 million use the app daily.
This makes WeChat the third most-used app globally, after WhatsApp (1.5 billion) and the Messenger by Meta, which just hit the magic 1 billion mark. Statista shows the growth of monthly active WeChat users since 2011:
WeChat is not only popular within China, but generally popular for Chinese users worldwide. 100 million Chinese citizens use the app outside of the country’s borders. This might sound trivial at first, but is important to understand if you are trying to reach out to Chinese travelers or expats via messaging apps.
At the beginning of 2020, 1.15 billion people worldwide were using WeChat. Since July 2020, the Chinese messaging app has gained even more users, and now has 1.2 billion users.
Messaging apps in South Africa
South Africa is still growing digitally in 2022
The percentage of internet user compared to the total population is around 68 percent in South Africa, with a steady yearly growth. The percentage of active social media users, which is around 50 percent of the total population, is growing rapidly, with a twelve percent increase in this year alone. This shows that South Africa is still growing in the digital market.
South African’s spend almost 11 hours per day using the internet
Of the total of ten hours and 46 minutes daily time spent online by South Africans, the distribution between mobile devices and desktop computers or tablets is fairly even.
Instant messengers top regular use in South Africa
In a survey on the regular use of social media, 91 percent of respondents said they used messenger services such as WhatsApp on a daily basis. Social network platforms such as Facebook, on the other hand, were used by 81 percent of respondents. The worldwide trend of stable messenger usage compared to a slow decline of time spent on social networks and other types of platform is also visible in South Africa.
WhatsApp is the most-used and favorite social media platform for South Africans
With 95.4 percent of internet users aged 16-64 using WhatsApp, it is the most popular social media platform in South Africa. Messenger by Meta is ranked fourth with 65.5 percent of users, and Telegram is the ninth most-used messaging platform, with 41.8 percent.
With 36.8 percent of South Africans using WhatsApp, the Meta messenger is clearly the most popular social media platform in the country in 2022.
Messaging Apps in Latin America
In 2021, Latin America is one of the strongest market regions for WhatsApp. 60% of the population in all Latin American countries actively uses the green messenger app, with Facebook Messenger, YouTube, and Instagram all ranking far behind WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is strong in most countries in Latin America
If you compare individual countries within that region, it is astonishing to see the immense reach and strong usage of social media in general.
Brazil and Mexico have the most WhatsApp users
With 145 million in Brazil and 74 million in Mexico, two countries contribute to the majority of WhatsApp users in Latin America.
Total number of WhatsApp users keeps growing
In Latin America, the number of monthly active social network users has been steadily increasing from 2014 until 2018, and according to Statista estimates, this trend is likely to continue.
Messaging Apps in Brazil
1. General information
Digital growth in Brazil is going full force
Besides growing numbers in mobile connections and internet users, a fast-growing interest in social media platforms in Brazil is apparent. In 2022, 21 million more Brazilians used social media. That’s a 14.3 percent year-on-year increase.
Social media is growing fast
In the last eight years, the number of social media users in Brazil doubled from 86 million to 171 million active users.
Instant messengers are most-used social media platforms in Brazil
According to a recent Statista survey from December 2021, instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, the Messenger by Meta, and Telegram are the most-used social media channels in Brazil with 90 percent of people using them regularly.
WhatsApp is most-used and most popular social media platform in Brazil in 2022
WhatsApp is the most-used social media platform in Brazil with 96.4 percent for internet users aged 16 to 64 years, followed by the Messenger by Meta with 67.8 percent and Telegram with 55.4 percent, which saw a jaw-dropping increase of over 25% in 2021, from originally 29.4%.
Moreover, 35.4 percent of internet users aged 16 to 64 stated, that WhatsApp is their favorite social media platform.
WhatsApp almost used 30 hours a month in Brazil
Out of all social media apps, Brazilians spend with 29.2 hours by far the most time on WhatsApp. The messenger is outperforming other social media apps in this category with ease.
WhatsApp still on top, other messaging platforms are catching up
56 percent of all Brazilians actively use WhatsApp for communication and information. This makes WhatsApp the most popular social media platform in the country, counting 24 percent more usage than the Messenger by Meta among all smartphone users in Brazil as of 2021. 98 percent of all smartphone users in Brazil are on WhatsApp.
Telegram and Signal saw increased popularity in 2021, as Telegram climbed up from 27 percent to 45 percent market penetration among smartphone users, and Signal enters the chat market with 12 percent penetration.
Majority of Brazilians use WhatsApp every day
Not only do Brazilians use WhatsApp more than other apps, but they also use it a lot! 86 percent of all smartphone users who have downloaded the app use it daily and are actively engaged throughout the entire day.
Social networks are most popular for ages 15 to 44
Both, men and women in Brazil use social networks (48 percent male users and 52 percent female users), and throughout all age groups. However, with a distribution of over 70 percent, the reach is greatest among the age group of 15 to 44 year old Brazilians.
Messaging Apps in Mexico
Mexicans spend almost 9 hours daily using the internet
While the distribution on mobile devices and computers is even, with eight hours and 55 minutes per day, Mexicans spend a notable amount of time online.
WhatsApp is the most-used social media platform in Mexico
With 94.3 percent of internet users between 16 and 64 years, WhatsApp is the most-used social media platform and messaging platform in Mexico in 2022. The Messenger by Meta comes in second. Its usage is also fairly high with 80.5 percent of Mexicans using the messenger monthly. Telegram ranks third with 39.9 percent of people using it every month.
Mexicans spend 20 hours per month using WhatsApp
Older age group uses WhatsApp for news
Interestingly, WhatsApp is used by older people in Mexico as a way of sharing news. Where only 18 percent use the messenger app as a source for news between the ages of 18 and 24, in the age group of 55 years and older, more than half of users (52 percent) use it for forwarding information.
Messaging Apps in Germany
Social media users grow 10% and spend more time
The Digital 2022 report for Germany shows that the number of social media users in Germany grew by 10 percent year-on-year. There are now 6.6 million more users on social media apps.
Also, their time spent on social media increased by 6 percent, and is now one hour and 29 minutes per day.
WhatsApp leads all social media platforms in 2022
The Digital 2022 report for Germany shows that WhatsApp is the most-used social media platform, with 83.6% of 16-64 year olds using the platform monthly.
WhatsApp leads all messaging platforms in 2022
In 2022, WhatsApp is still the dominating messaging app in Germany, with 87 percent of all instant messenger users being on the app regularly. Messenger by Meta is used by a third of all users, and Telegram is ranking third with 15 percent of regular usage. As an honorable mention, eight percent of Germans are on iMessage regularly.
WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger in top 5 of most active apps (not counting CovPass app)
As of February 2022, WhatsApp is the most active social app in Germany. Messenger by Meta comes in fifth (not counting the Covid-19 app CovPass app), right behind the Facebook app, Amazon, and Instagram.
41.8% of all internet users use mobile phones
From a total daily internet use time of five hours and 22 minutes, mobile phones make up 41.8 percent of the total with two hours and 14 minutes.
Messaging Apps in Austria
Austria’s internet usage increases by 4.8% in 2022 – highest in last 10 years
In 2022, Austria counts 390,000 additional internet users. This is a rise of 4.8 percent, and marks the highest increase of internet usage in the last ten years with.
WhatsApp is the most-used and favorite social media platform among Austrians in 2022
33.8 percent of Austrian internet users between 16 and 64 years state that WhatsApp is their favorite social media app.
With 81.6 percent of internet users aged between 16 and 64 years, WhatsApp leads all social media platforms in Austria. The Messenger by Meta is number two in messaging platforms with 45.7 percent usage. Telegram come in third, with 20.8 percent of Austrians using the messaging service.
Instant Messengers are most-used kind of social media in Austria
According to Statista, messenger apps are the most frequently used social media platforms in Austria in 2022.
98% of Teenagers use WhatsApp
According to the most recent Youth Internet Monitor published in Austria, 98 percent of Austrian teenagers use WhatsApp. It is also a very popular app among other age groups.
WhatsApp is most downloaded app in Austria
The Statista graphic below from early 2021 confirms that WhatsApp is the most downloaded messaging app in the Google Play store. Interestingly, Messenger by Meta is easily beaten by Telegram.
Number of WhatsApp users are steadily increasing
In Austria, the number of WhatsApp users has been increasing every year since 2017. In 2020, 7.62 million Austrians used WhatsApp, 0.16 million more than 2019.
Messaging Apps in Spain
Social media users in Spain grow by 8.8%
The number of social media users in Spain has grown by 8.8 percent to 40.7 million users in 2022.
Messaging apps are important news source in Spain
The newest numbers confirm that WhatsApp continues to play a significant role in Spain when it comes to news consumption. A survey by Statista from early 2021 shows that 43 percent of Spanish users consume news through messaging apps (WhatsApp: 35 percent, Telegram: 8 percent). While news consumption has decreased on Facebook, it increased on WhatsApp and messenger apps as a whole.
WhatsApp is the most-used and most popular social media platform
With 91 percent of internet users aged 16 to 64, WhatsApp is the most-used social media platform in Spain. Regarding messaging platforms, the Messenger by Meta ranks second with 38.6 percent of people using it every month, closely followed by Telegram with 38.3 percent.
39.7 percent of internet users in the same age group state that their favorite social media app ist WhatsApp, making it the most popular platform in Spain.
Messaging Apps in Italy
More social media users in 2022
Now reaching 43.2 million users, the number of people on social media grew in 2022 in Italy by 5.4 percent.
WhatsApp is the most popular and most-used social media platform
Similar to Spain, 39.7 percent of internet users between 16 and 64 years named WhatsApp as their favorite social media app.
Similarly to Spain, WhatsApp is the most-used social media platform in Italy, with 90.3 percent of Italians using it monthly. Regarding instant messengers, again the Messenger by Meta is ranked second with 51.1 percent of people using it every month followed by Telegram (45.3 percent).
WhatsApp usage for medical purposes big in Italy
While in Spain WhatsApp is also used specifically for news consumption, in Italy WhatsApp is used more for health-related purposes. According to data from Statista, more than half of the respondents stated that they use WhatsApp to schedule or postpone medical examinations and check-ups.
Messaging Apps in France
6% growth in number of social media users
In France, social media app usage also grew in 2022. There was a six percent increase of year-on-year social media users, bringing the total number of French on social media to 53.6 million users.
Facebook Messenger is the most-used messaging app in France
Unlike many other European countries, France’s most-used messaging app is not WhatsApp, but the Messenger by Meta. 59.5 percent of internet users aged 16 to 64 use the messenger from Meta, whereas only 55.7 percent use WhatsApp. The third most popular messaging service is iMessage (21.7 percent).
WhatsApp ranks first among iPhone users
Interestingly though, even among iPhone users in France, as of July 2021, WhatsApp is the most-used social media app with 5.5 million daily active users (DAU).
WhatsApp is the most-downloaded messaging app in Play Store
Looking at the number of downloads from Google Play Store, WhatsApp also ranks first there, suggesting an ongoing growth compared to the Messenger by Meta.
Messaging Apps in Denmark
Facebook Messenger is most-used messaging app, WhatsApp irrelevant
Facebook is the most-used social media app in Denmark, and with Facebook (78.8 percent), the Messenger by Meta (72 percent) and Instagram (59.4 percent), these three Meta platforms are overall the most-used messaging apps in the country. Meta’s WhatsApp, on the other hand, is only used by 22.7 percent of Danish people, and is therefore, in comparison, rather irrelevant. It even ranks lower than iMessage with 32.9 percent of people using the Apple messenger every month.
Time spent using social media increases 17.8%
With 18 more minutes per day, the daily time spent on social media increased in Denmark in 2022 by 17.8 percent.
Facebook and FB Messenger are dominating
The fact that people in Denmark are very attached to Facebook and the Messenger by Meta is also illustrated by data from the Audience Project. According to their surveys, WhatsApp does not even play a role here.
Messaging Apps in Finland
Number of social media users increases in Finland in 2022
270,000 additional social media users in Finland mark a significant increase over the last year with 6.1 percent more users to a total of 4.73 million users.
Instant Messengers are most regularly used social media apps
The situation in Finland is again quite different from Denmark. According to Statista, the Finnish use instant messaging apps like WhatsApp even more (82 percent) than social networks (70 percent).
WhatsApp most-used messaging app in Finland
Unlike in other Scandinavian countries, the most-used messaging app in Finland is WhatsApp, followed by the Messenger by Meta.
WhatsApp users still growing
The data shows the importance of WhatsApp in Finland, as the app has become more popular among users for years. In 2016, 68 percent of Finnish people said they used the service, and in 2020 already 84 percent said that they use the app.
Messaging Apps in Sweden
SMS is most-used messaging platform in Sweden
Surprisingly, the good old text message (SMS) is leading the field in Sweden when it comes to instant messaging, with 76 percent usage reach. The Messenger by Meta is the runner-up messaging tool, with 65 percent of Swedes using it in 2021.
Social media users and time spent daily are increasing
The number of social media users in Sweden went up in 2022 by almost one million users, which is 11.2 percent more compared to 2021.
Also, the daily time people spent on social media in Sweden increased by 13 percent.
Further countries will be updated in this article on a regular basis.
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