WhatsApp usage in the UK
Messaging Apps are on the rise worldwide, and WhatsApp usage in the UK is the third highest in Europe with over 40 million users. In this article we will take a closer look at all related figures on WhatsApp, internet and social media usage in the United Kingdom and how they compare to the numbers of 2017 and 2019.
WhatsApp is dominating the messaging app landscape in the United Kingdom, with 40.41 million total users as of May 2021. In 2022 the position of WhatsApp as a popular messenger service has solidified, not only for private use, but businesses also already make use of the messaging platform. In global comparison, the messaging app has the third most users in Europe and the seventh most users in the world. Here are the full WhatsApp statistics for the United Kingdom in 2022.
Find the numbers you need quickly:
- Total population, internet users & social media users in the UK
- WhatsApp usage in the UK
- Earlier WhatsApp usage statistics for UK
Total population, internet users & social media users in the UK
The total population in the UK is 68.35 million in 2022. Of these, 66.99 million people use the internet on a regular basis, which is a penetration of 98 percent internet users against the total population. Compared to 2021, the number of total internet users increased by 300,000.
The number of cellular mobile connections is 71.84 million—105.1 percent of the population, meaning there are more active mobile connections than people in the UK. This number increased by 2.6 million compared to 2021, an additional 3.8 percent new connections.
The number of social media users is at 57.60 million. This makes up a share of 84.3 percent of the total population, or 86 percent of all internet users. Year-on-year, the total number of social media users increased by an astounding 4.6 million users in 2021, an increase of 8.7 percent in just one year.
WhatsApp is the leading chat app in the UK
UK has third most WhatsApp users in Europe with 40.41 million
WhatsApp is the most used messaging service in the United Kingdom. 40.41 million people use the chat app, which is the third-highest user number in Europe, just after Germany and Russia.
WhatsApp is most used chat app in UK: 74.8 percent of 16 to 64 year-olds use it
Looking at the percentage of internet users who use different social media apps, WhatsApp is the leading app, with 74.8 percent of the internet users aged 16 to 64 on the service. The chat app that ranks second highest in this category is the Messenger from Meta with 58.5% followed by iMessage in third place with 35.4 percent.
Most downloaded app: WhatsApp with nearly 3 million downloads
WhatsApp is also the most downloaded app across Android and iOS devices. More than 2.9 million people downloaded the app in the fourth quarter of 2021. The number has even increased compared to the last two quarters from 2.1 million in the second quarter of 2021 and almost 2.8 million in the third quarter of 2021. Although the download of the Telegram Messenger has increased to one million over the years, WhatsApp is still getting three times more downloads.
High usage frequency: 94 percent use the app weekly
People in the UK not only download WhatsApp, they also use it a lot. 73 percent of users older than 15 state that they use the chat app daily. 94 percent use it weekly and 99 percent at least monthly.
Earlier WhatsApp usage statistics for the UK
Digital 2019 Report
What has changed since the last report on messenger app usage from 2019? Here are the most important facts from the earlier study:
- 73 percent of UK internet users used mobile messaging
- WhatsApp was the number one app in terms of monthly active users and by downloads already.
Mobile devices and social media use in the UK: 2017 vs. 2022
Back in 2017, 95 percent of UK households owned at least one mobile device. As seen in the current figures above, the penetration of cellular mobile connections versus the total population is at 105.1 percent, with 71 million in 2022.
The number of internet users who access the internet via portable device reached 79 percent in 2017. More than 95 percent of internet users access the internet on a smartphone today.
Although 84.3 percent of the total population use social media today, only 57 percent of the UK population used it back in 2017. But: the daily 114 minutes of activity decreased in the last 5 years by 6 minutes to 108 minutes per day.
Apple has more than half of the market share for mobile devices
Apple has held the leading market share in the UK for over ten years now. For the first time in 2021, the market share crossed 50 percent of the total. Even though Samsung was able to grow tremendously from 2012 onwards and stagnated in the last few years, Apple is and has been the UK’s favorite mobile device vendor. This means that Apple Messages for Business has huge potential for your company’s professional customer service!
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💡 See how iMessage and WhatsApp compare to each other for communicating with clients.
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As you can see, almost everybody in the UK is communicating privately on a messaging app. This proves that there is a lot of potential for customer cummunication on WhatsApp and other apps.
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