4 million Singaporeans say WhatsApp is their most-used app

Of Singapore’s 5.75 million population, 4 million mobile users say that WhatsApp is their most-used app.

We know that WhatsApp is the world’s leading messaging app, and have already taken a deep dive into their user statistics in India and the UK. Today, we’re looking at Singapore: a small island with a lot of mobile users.

Singapore’s Internet Landscape

Singapore has an extraordinarily high social media penetration rate. Internet penetration has reached 84%, and social media use 83% — essentially, every Singaporean who is using the internet is on social media.

The 4.8 million social media users in Singapore are using it a lot: We are Social and HootSuite report that on average, people spend 2 hours and 6 minutes on social media daily. The vast majority of this time is spent accessing social media apps via smartphone.

78% of web traffic overall is from mobile phones, and 91% of the adult population uses smartphones.

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WhatsApp is #1 for 4 million Singaporeans

How does this all tie into WhatsApp? Well, the majority of the social media users in Singapore are using messaging apps. 77% of the population uses mobile messengers, one of the highest percentages worldwide. And although in Asia there are a variety of extremely popular local apps, like WeChat or QQ in China, LINE in Japan, Kakaotalk, and more, WhatsApp is the clear leader in Singapore.

Both Statista, We are Social, and the Global Web Index show that WhatsApp is the leading social network, ahead of YouTube and Facebook, and far ahead of Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and all other social networks.

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This is a really strong statistic – what’s particularly interesting is by how far messaging, in particular, has surpassed other types of social behaviors. People are writing to each other over WhatsApp more than they are watching videos, posting photos, reading friends’ Facebook updates or Snapchat (or Instagram, or Facebook) stories, more than they are tweeting, etc.

WhatsApp is also the number one app in terms of both monthly active users and downloads.

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WhatsApp Business Opportunities

What is the impact of this WhatsApp reach? For one thing, businesses can use this to their advantage for both marketing and customer service. We are Social also provides statistics about how advertising works over social media in Singapore — 35% of product awareness is raised online, compared to only 5% over email. And since most Singaporeans are using the internet via mobile, businesses can definitely profit from communicating with users and customers on their smartphone. For more information, check out our article about WhatsApp along the Customer Journey.


This active WhatsApp use is becoming important across all industries: Web in Travel Singapore writes that “Messaging is evolving beyond communication to embrace business and lifestyle.” In the APAC region, not only marketing but actually sales is growing rapidly over WhatsApp: “We also see the addition of conversational commerce – the whole activity of people communicating with business over messaging was actually born here in APAC. We observe that in Thailand, Indonesia, India and other emerging markets many businesses don’t  even have a website, instead exclusively operating via Facebook page or messaging app.”


As WhatsApp’s global user base continues to grow, the business opportunities will only grow further. Click here to discover more statistics from the MessengerPeople Study 2018, created in cooperation with German research institution YouGov, or follow our reading tips below for branch-specific cases.

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Have a great idea for customer service via messaging apps and want to talk about it? Message us!

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