With a massive subscriber base in Asia, and most importantly, availability on all major and minor mobile platforms, WhatsApp is among the most popular messaging services in the world. But has it become larger than the likes of Twitter? Well, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum has set the media abuzz after he claimed his platform is now bigger than the microblogging service and handles more than 20 billion messages per day.
In an interview at the D: Dive Into Mobile on Tuesday, Koum said WhatsApp's user engagement exceeds Twitter's 200 million monthly active users. About his 20 billion messages per day statistics, Koum said the figures had to be broken down into outgoing and incoming messages, as users can send the same message to multiple users in case of group chats. According to Koum, the platform sees about 8 billion incoming and 12 billion outgoing messages a day.
The WhatsApp official also denied the possibilities WhatsApp incorporating ads to increase revenues.
“We do have a manifesto opposing advertising,” Koum is quoted as saying. “We’re proud of that. Who likes advertising? We’re so bombarded with ads so much in our daily lives and we felt that smartphones aren’t the place for that. Our phones are so intimately connected to us, to our lives. Putting advertising on a device like that is a bad idea. You don’t want to be interrupted by ads when you’re chatting with your loved ones.”
Speaking on competition from the messaging apps from the companies such as Google, Apple and Facebook, Koum said WhatsApp's business model is different from the rest, as it is the only company that fully focusses on messaging.
WhatsApp isn't the only company in the messaging game. Heavy hitters such as Google, Facebook, and Apple have all introduced their own messaging applications. But Koum said that its business model differentiates WhatsApp from the pack, and that of all these companies, only WhatsApp completely focuses on messaging.
"Mobile and messaging is the only thing we do," he said. "It's in our heart and in our blood and DNA."
Koum also revealed partnerships with a number of carriers, including local data deals in India, have helped drive adoption and usage. He also revealed access to a “roaming pass” with a Hong Kong-based partner has allowed its users to use WhatsApp across Asia without extra fees.
Check out the full interview WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum in the video below: