WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook Messenger Apps – Global useage of Messaging Apps, Penetration and Statistics

The latest messaging app usage statistics show that WhatsApp has 2.0 billion users worldwide and Facebook Messenger 1.3, WeChat is just behind with 1.2 billion. Here you can find out all about worldwide messaging app usage. We have user demographics and usage statistics for seventeen different countries and regions, with diverse infographics. We continuously add countries, messaging apps, and updated usage statistics to this article – so check back on a regular base for the latest numbers!

In this article you’ll find messaging app usage statistics for the following countries and regions:

  1. Great Britain
  2. USA
  3. India
  4. Singapore
  5. APAC Region
  6. South Africa
  7. Germany
  8. China
  9. Austria
  10. Brazil
  11. Spain
  12. Italy
  13. France
  14. Latin America
  15. Denmark
  16. Finland
  17. Sweden

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

Looking at the monthly active users of the top 3 most popular messaging apps speaks for the popularity of these chat applications: The top 3 apps WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat combine together more than 4 billion active monthly users.

Most popular global mobile messaging apps 2021 / Statista

WhatsApp Usage Oct 30th 2020: WhatsApp is now delivering roughly 100 billion messages a day

WhatsApp,  the popular instant messaging app owned by Facebook,  is now delivering roughly 100 billion messages a day, the company’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said at the quarterly earnings call Thursday. Source: Techcrunch

Active users of the top social networks and top messenger apps worldwide

WhatsApp announced in mid-February 2020 on its blog that the messaging app is now actively used by over 2 billion people worldwide. This puts the green messaging app far ahead of all other messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber, Apple Business Chat, or Telegram in terms of user numbers.

In Facebook’s “family of apps”, which includes the Facebook App, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, the two messaging apps WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have leading roles in terms of user numbers. Together, the Facebook family of apps has over 6.8 billion active users per month. The latest official figures on the occasion of the Q4/2019 results of Facebook show: Around 2.3 billion users use one of the apps every day.

Facebook is leading when it comes to active users worldwide. With 2 billion active users, WhatsApp is the number one messaging app, closely followed by Facebook Messenger with 1.3 billion users and the Chinese messaging app WeChat with 1.2 billion users. Then comes Instagram with 1 billion users and the Chinese QQ with over 731 million active users. In between, TikTok has placed itself this year with a user growth from 500 million to 800 million compared to the previous year.

Quelle: We Are Social 2020

There are only 25 countries in the world where WhatsApp is not the market leader.WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are growing about twice as fast as Facebook, the original platform (+30% YoY). Currently, WhatsApp has the highest distribution of all messaging apps worldwide. If you combine all the existing apps of the Facebook Universe, there are only 10 countries in the world where the messenger market leader is not from the Facebook dynasty.

Messaging Apps in Great Britain

According to the latest numbers on Statista (2020), WhatsApp is the most used messenger service in the UK, with 81% of the total, ahead of Facebook Messenger. But WhatsApp is not only the most used messenger, it is also the most popular app among the British, according to a recent study by AudienceProjekt. The green Messenger beats well-known social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram, but also Gmail, GoogleMaps and Chrome.

Quelle: Statista

Quelle: Audience Projekt, 2020

Messaging apps are also used across all age groups in the UK. The strongest user group is the 25-34-year-olds, but the 55+ age group is also increasingly using messaging apps.

Quelle: Statista

Within the past 2 years, WhatsApp has grown its user base by 20% and now almost reaches 60% of the British population. This incredible rise is especially impressive when looking at the slight decrease of YouTube and the very minimal increase of Facebook users.

Source: WeAreSocial Digital Report 2018

The intuitive WhatsApp interface and its wide-reaching popularity make it the most popular messaging app within all age groups. 84% of  24 – 35 year old Britons use WhatsApp, whereas the age group from 35 – 44 year old shows slightly less coverage, with 78% of the population.

Tip: more in-depth information about the messenger landscape in the UK in this article.


Messaging Apps in the USA

Isn’t it surprising, that WhatsApp is the leading messaging app in 169 countries but not in its domestic market, the United States? Let’s take a look at which messaging apps are actually popular in the US market.

In the USA, Facebook Messenger, as a messaging app, is number 1 and dominates the market of messaging apps with 55%. Other messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram or WeChat play a minor role.

Quelle: We are Social

Classic social media channels are still pioneers in the USA. But nevertheless, 55% of Americans use instant messengers regularly.

Quelle: Statista

If you focus only on messaging apps, Facebook Messenger stands out. WhatsApp is only used regularly by 25% of the respondents, but despite all this, WhatsApp is still ranked third among all messenger apps.

Quelle: Statista

1. Facebook Messenger

Alongside the good old text message, a lot of Americans use Facebook in order to send messages. With the combination of SMS and Facebook Messenger, you can reach almost everyone. Many people don’t think that using an extra messaging app will provide them any added value.

Source: Statista

2. WhatsApp

As mentioned, WhatsApp is rather unpopular within the United States. In fact, a lot of Americans had never heard of the company before Facebook bought it in 2014. However, the green messaging app – which is the market leader globally – is slowly seeing rising usage statistics in the US. A lot of Americans actively use WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family abroad.

Source: Statista

3. SMS

In the US, it’s quite common to have a mobile phone contract with a package that includes unlimited SMS. Data is also relatively expensive in the US, although the mobile market is very competitive and people can thus find great deals.

The urgency to text abroad is very limited – especially compared to the European Union, where people have closer relations between countries. Most Amercians communicate primarily within the domestic market, so there’s no need for the average person to download an app for cost-efficient international messaging.

In a lot of other countries, though, WhatsApp has managed to completely eliminate the text message. Emerging markets are especially keen on WhatsApp, because local mobile providers are often not very reliable. In the USA, there has never really been an urge to find alternatives to SMS but still, even there, usage numbers are continuously dropping.

Source: Statista

4. iMessage

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 USA. A lot of adolescents prefer iMessage to apps like Snapchat in order to reach out to their friends.

Since iMessage is a pre-installed service of Apple, there are no official messaging usage statistics as they keep those “in-house”. Looking at the ever-growing demand and distribution of iOS devices though, we can assume that the pool of iMessage users is growing. In the fiscal year of 2017, Apple reached a quantity of 216.76 million iPhones.

For businesses looking to interact with US customers over messaging apps, Apple Business Chat is a great solution – and MessengerPeople is one of the few European providers for this exclusive service. More information on our ABC product page.

Have a close look at more in-depth information about the US Mobile Messaging Landscape in this article.

If companies want to target specific iPhone users and offer them a messaging service, they should take a look at the Apple Business Chat. This is the solution developed by Apple especially for companies for customer communication via the Apple Messaging App.

Messaging Apps in India

WhatsApp is ranked third among the most used social media platforms in India with 70% and surpasses Facebook Messenger in usage with 17% more users.

Quelle: We are Social, 2020

Looking at which app in India has the most monthly active users, WhatsApp is in 1st place and Facebook Messenger is in 4th place as the next messaging app.

Quelle: We are Social, 2020

With increasing urbanization and steadily increasing Internet usage, the Indian market offers huge potential. It had 2019 more than 450 million active internet users.

Source: We are Social, 2019

97% of all smartphone users in India use mobile Apps for daily communication. For 96% of them, WhatsApp is their first choice when thinking about Messenger Communication.

In February 2017, India counted 200 million active users on WhatsApp. Currently, there is an estimated active WhatsApp user base of 250-300 million in India.


This makes WhatsApp the clear messenger-marketing market leader in India, where it continues to rank as the most sought-after and downloaded app. In contrast, Facebook Messenger lost popularity compared to previous year and reaches a fifth less people in direct comparison with WhatsApp.

In India, WhatsApp is popular among all age classes, however, there is a clear trend towards 18-34-year old male Indians (55%). Due to the still existing gender gap, generally more male (77%) than female (23%) can be reached via Messenger Communication.

We summarized more in-depth messaging app usage statistics for India and the mobile messaging market in this article.

Messaging Apps in Singapore

The most used mobile apps in Singapore are with 92% messaging apps.

Quelle: We are Social, 2020

If you take a closer look, the statistics of the We are Social Report show that WhatsApp, measured by active users, is the most used messaging app in Singapore. The 2nd place among the messaging apps is occupied by Facebook Messenger, followed by WeChat and Telegram on position 7 and 10.

Quelle: We are Social, 2020

As the statistics from Statista show, WhatsApp is in 2nd place of all social networks and messaging apps in Singapore 2019 with 81%. Facebook Messenger, on the other hand, is only in 5th place with 50%, which shows a clear preference for the green messaging app.

Quelle: Statista

93% of Singaporeans use the internet on a daily basis. 75% of them use it actively on their smartphone for social networking activities, and 73% specifically use WhatsApp. Among all messenger apps in Singapore, WhatsApp counts the most downloads and active users.

Source: Statistia

WhatsApp tops all other social media. It’s popular among all ages, but with a percentage of 73%, social media usage is especially high among 18-44 year old Singaporeans. The distribution by gender is quite balanced with 53% male users and 47% female.

Messaging Apps in the APAC Region

Not only is WhatsApp a popular communication app in Singapore, it is also number one in other countries in the Asia-Pacific Region: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, just to name a few. The market landscape in the Asia-Pacific Region is locally dominated by regional app providers such as WeChat, KakaoTalk or LINE, so it’s specifically impressive that WhatsApp still manages to haev such a strong lead.

Source: Nexmo

The four leading social apps in Asia are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber and LINE.

Messaging apps in South Africa

The latest graph from we are social and Hootsuite shows that WhatsApp is the most used mobile app in South Africa on a monthly basis.

The messenger WhatsApp managed to gain the most mobile app downloads in 2021 and is thus in 1st place in South Africa. Snapchat made it to 7th place, followed by Facebook Messenger (8th place).

In South Africa, WhatsApp is the number 1 social networking platform: 49% of the population actively use the messenger service on a daily basis.

In a survey on the regular use of social media, 93% 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 87% of respondents.

Source: Statista

Messaging Apps in Germany

In September for the first time, Facebook announced official user numbers for Germany at the NGO Day in Berlin: 58 million people in Germany use WhatsApp every day. The latest official Facebook user numbers for its platforms also show that 23 million people in Germany use Facebook Messenger every month.

On basis of these published figures and more carefully selected statistics and studies, we have calculated the current usage numbers for the daily use of messaging apps in Germany and summarized these in the graph below.

In our calculation of the daily usage of Facebook Messenger, we assume that 80% of users use this particular messenger service on a daily base. Which means that 18.1 million people in Germany use Facebook Messenger every day, ranking second in Germany.

There are no official numbers of Apple Messages App users, so our assumption is that the number of users corresponds to the distribution of iOS operating systems. Taking this as our base, 15.1 million people in Germany use Apple’s Message news app daily, ranking third behind WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Believe it or not, according to Statista Global Consumer Survey 2019 (April 2019) and our calculation, 9.6 million people in Germany still use Skype every day, leading to a ranking on position 4. According to a study by Statista in July 2019, Telegram Messenger ranks 5th with a daily active user base of 7.8 million people in Germany. Followed by Snapchat on rank 6 with 7.2 million daily users in Germany (Statista April 2019). With its 6 million daily users in Germany, Threema ranks number 7 (Statista July 2o19).

Other messaging apps that follow count less than 2 million daily users in Germany, which comes as no surprise as they are considered regional heros in different geographic areas: Kik, Hangout, LINE, WeChat, Kakao Talk and Wire.


Messaging Apps in China

At the beginning of 2020, 1.15 billion people worldwide are using WeChat. Since July 2020, the Chinese messaging app could gain even more users and now has 1.2 billion users.

Quelle: We are Social, 2020

Statista shows the growth of monthly active WeChat users since 2011:

Quelle: Statista 

WeChat has published new numbers and now counts over a billion users, of which 900 million use the app daily. This makes WeChat the third most-used app globally —  after WhatsApp (1.5 billion) and FB Messenger, which just hit the magic 1 billion mark.

WeChat is not only popular within the Chinese borders, but generally popular for Chinese users. 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.

© Statista 2018

Messaging Apps in Austria

According to statista, in 2020 messenger apps are the most frequently used social media platforms in Austria.


Regarding the messenger apps WhatsApp is the clear winner with 96% usage. Facebook messenger is in second place and used by 47%, nearly half of WhatsApp usage.


In Austria, the number of WhatsApp users is increasing every year since 2017. In 2020 7.62 million Austrians use WhatsApp. 0.16 million more than in the previous year.


85% of Austrian teenagers use WhatsApp. However, it’s also an extremely popular app in other age groups.


The below Statista graphic from 2018 shows that WhatsApp is by far the most-downloaded messaging app in the Google Play store. Facebook is left in the dust, and the other messengers all hover together with (primarily) less than 10% of the market share.

Source: Statista 

Messaging Apps in Brazil

According to the latest Statista survey, instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat are the most used social media channels in Brazil with 93%.

Quelle: Statista

Another statistic shows that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in Brazil.

Quelle: Statista

56% of all Brazilians actively use WhatsApp for communication and information. This makes WhatsApp the most popular platform within Brazil, counting 20% more usage than Facebook Messenger among all smartphone users in Brazil.

Source: Statista

Not only do Brazilians use WhatsApp more than other apps, but they also use it a lot! 92% of all smartphone users who have downloaded the app use it daily and are actively engaged throughout the entire day.

Source: Statista

Social networks are used by both genders in Brazil (48% male and 52% female) and throughout all age groups. However, with a distribution of 76%, the reach is greatest among the age group of 15-44 year old Brazilians.


Messaging Apps in Spain

In Spain, WhatsApp is the unbeaten number 1 – 97% of respondents regularly use the green messenger. In second place is Facebook Messenger, which however has much less regular users – only 37%.

Quelle: Statista

Compared to 2019, WhatsApp is still the most used messaging app in Spain. In the user ranking with all common social media platforms it occupies position 2, after YouTube. The user numbers of the two most popular messaging apps of the Spanish – the Facebook Messenger – have increased by 3% to 46% since 2019, but this still leaves WhatsApp far behind.

Quelle: We are Social, 2020 

When it comes to the regular use of social media channels, messaging apps clearly win in Spain, similar to Brazil.

Quelle: Statista

WhatsApp also plays a significant role in Spain when it comes to news consumption. A survey by Statisa showed that 40% of Spaniards consume news via messaging apps (WhatsApp & the Facebook Messenger), with WhatsApp accounting for 34%.

Quelle: Statista

Numbers from 2019: WhatsApp is by far the most popular messenger service in Spain. 87% of the population used the green messenger app actively in 2017. Facebook Messenger, which ranks second favorite in Spain, only has a usage rate of 43% of the population and falls way behind the top number 1.

Source: We are Social, 2019

87% of all smartphone users in Spain say they actively use WhatsApp on their smartphone. Facebook, on the other hand, is used only by 72%.

Another aspect to keep in mind when looking at the current market situation in Spain are the Google Play Store and App Store rankings. The Google Play Store statistic speaks for itself: WhatsApp – with a huge advantage over Facebook Messenger in 2nd place – counts 11 million daily active users. All other communication apps are positioned far behind.

The distribution of sexes is well-balanced. 54% of women and 46% of men use social networks in Spain. This evenly distributed proportion continues through all age classes. However, adolescents spend even more time than average on social media channels. 98% of female teens between 16 and 24 years old use WhatsApp on a daily basis, and 92% of their male counterparts.

Messaging Apps in Italy

WhatsApp still ranks second among the most used social media platforms in Italy in 2020 compared to 2019 and is also the most popular messaging app, according to a survey by Statista.

Quelle: We are Social, 2020

Quelle: Statista

Recent figures from the Google Play Store in Italy in early 2020 show that WhatsApp has the most daily active users (DAU) among messaging apps. The green messaging app is used by around 6.2 million Android devices every day.

Quelle: Statista 

While in Spain WhatsApp is also used specifically for news consumption, in Italy WhatsApp is used for health-related purposes. According to the data, more than half of the respondents stated that they use WhatsApp to schedule or postpone examinations and check-ups.

Quelle: Statista

As of January 2019, there were 54,80 million active internet users in Italy – which corresponds to 92% of the whole population. 85% of all Italians say they actively use the internet on their smartphone.

Numbers from 2019: With a penetration of 84%, WhatsApp is by far the most popular messenger app in Italy.

Source: We are Social, 2019

Throughout all age groups, Italians actively use the green messenger. The age group which claims to use it the most is 25-54 year olds. But even 78% of those aged above 50 use the internet on a daily basis!

Messaging Apps in France

According to Statista, by 2020 69% of all respondents in France use social networks and almost as many (65%) instant messaging apps like WhatsApp on a daily base.

Quelle: Statista

If you sort the social media by apps, Facebook Messenger is the most popular messenger, in third place after YoutTube and Facebook itself. WhatsApp is the 2 most popular messaging app with 38%.

Quelle: We are Social, 2020

Numbers from 2019: 92% of the French population uses the Internet, and 74% does so via mobile devices. Of all active internet users in France, 58% actively use social media. The most popular messenger service in France is Facebook Messenger with a reach of 51%. WhatsApp follows as the second most used messenger with a reach of 31%.

Source: We are Social, 2019

As of January 2019, WhatsApp ranks as the second favorite App according to the numbers of app downloads and monthly active users.

Social networks are used evenly among men (49%) and women (51%) in France.

Throughout all age group, there is a highly active user base when it comes to social media. Even 30% of those aged 60 and above are active on social media. However, the age group of 12-39 year olds clearly dominates in terms of social media usage.

Messaging Apps in Latin America

In Latin America, the number of monthly active social network users has been steadily increasing, and according to Statista 2018 this is expected to continue.

Quelle: Statista

In addition, not only the monthly active social network users but also the percentage of WhatsApp users in Latin America increase constantly since 2016.

Quelle: Statista

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.

If you compare individual countries within that region, it is astonishing to see the immense reach and strong usage of social media in general. With a reach of 72% of the population, WhatsApp is strongest in Uruguay, followed by Chile with 71% and Argentina with 70%.

Messaging Apps in Denmark

According to statistics from We are Social, Facebook is the most used app in Denmark. On the 3rd place, the Facebook Messenger represents the messaging apps with 70% usage. WhatsApp, on the other hand, is only used by 21% of Danes and is therefore rather irrelevant.

Quelle: We are Social, 2020

The fact that the Danes are very attached to Facebook and the corresponding Messenger is also illustrated by the statistics of Audience Projekt. WhatsApp does not even play a role here.

Quelle: Audience Projekt, 2020

Messaging Apps in Finland

The situation in Finland is again quite different from Denmark. According to Statista, the Finns use instant messaging apps like WhatsApp most regularly. Social networks follow in 2nd place.

Quelle: Statista

Other than in the other Scandinavian countries the most used messaging app in Finland is WhatsApp, followed by Facebook Messenger.

Quelle: Audience Projekt, 2020

As you can see from the statistics of Audience Projekt, the importance of WhatsApp has been growing for years. In 2016, 68% of Finns said they used WhatsApp, and now (2020) 84% of Finns use WhatsApp.

Quelle: Audience Projekt, 2020

Messaging Apps in Sweden

In Sweden Facebook plays a major role. WhatsApp is just an on the four-place and quite far away from the usage of Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. But the development shows that WhatsApp is becoming more popular in Sweden – from 2017 to 2020 the usage increased by 7%.

Quelle: Audience Projekt, 2020

According a Statista survey, 42% of the Swedes WhatsApp users use WhatsApp at least daily.

Quelle: Statista

Sweden is more “blue” since 2018. Facebook and the Facebook Messenger play a big role in Sweden, only 27% of the Swedes use WhatsApp.

Quelle: Statista

Further countries will be updated in this article on a regular basis.

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