June 13, 2013
WhatsApp Sets Daily Message Record, Tops 27 Billion
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
In a Tweet, cross-platform messaging app WhatsApp announced that it has set a new daily record of 27 billion messages handled in just 24 hours. To be exact, @WhatsApp tweeted "new daily record: 10B+ msgs sent (inbound) and 17B+ msgs received (outbound) by our users =27 Billion msgs handled in just 24 hours!"
Several news outlets reported the milestone, including The Droid Guy. The post said that in April WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced at the AllThingsD Dive into Mobile conference that the company had over 200 million users.
All those users were busy on Wednesday and into Thursday morning to have sent 27 billion messages.
WhatsApp's previous record for messages handled was 18 billion, which it reported on December 31, 2012, according to Fierce Mobile Content.
The cross-platform messaging app works on Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and iPhone. The app costs $0.99 on most platforms, and allows sending and receiving of text messages, voice notes and photos. One benefit of the platform is that it works worldwide, without users incurring fees for sending a message to someone internationally. Text messages typically have higher rates for international messaging.
WhatsApp could be touting - or tweeting - its milestone to make sure it is still the darling of Silicon Valley. The messaging app maker made the news frequently in April as rumors of acquisition discussions circulated. One rumor placed a Google acquisition talk at close to $1 billion. That was after the company was rumored to be in talks with Facebook several months earlier. Ultimately, both were brushed off as being just rumors.
It is unclear whether WhatsApp will become an acquisition target, or be open to bids to acquire the startup firm.
The volume of messages handled by WhatsApp, and other messaging platforms, is expected to continue growing through the end of the year, changing the model set by carriers.
"WhatsApp's continued growth poses major challenges for conventional carrier SMS services: Consumers across the globe will send 41 billion over-the-top mobile messages per day by the end of 2013, compared to an average of 19.5 billion peer-to-peer SMS, according to recent forecast issued by research firm Informa. OTT traffic has already eclipsed SMS in terms of daily messaging volume: Consumers sent an average of 19.1 billion OTT messages per day in 2012, compared to 17.6 billion messages via SMS," the Fierce Mobile Content story said.
While the shift toward OTT messaging, or using apps to send text and instant messages instead of SMS messaging through the carrier, may be perceived as a threat to carriers, it might actually be a boon. Many carriers provide SMS messaging free as part of a phone plan; it is an inexpensive service and data is the bigger revenue draw for carriers.
If consumers shift to using an app to send messages, most consumers will consume more data, and therefore pay higher data rates in order to send messages. If WhatsApp and similar apps gain more momentum, carriers might learn to welcome the service rather than see it as a threat.