Mobile messaging app WhatsApp hit a personal best today, processing 27 billion messages in 24 hours. It’s unclear what caused the spike in usage yesterday, but the company’s previous record was set last New Year’s Eve when it processed 18 billion messages. As always, the company discreetly announced the news on Twitter to its 435,401 followers.
new daily record: 10B+ msgs sent (inbound) and 17B+ msgs received (outbound) by our users = 27 Billion msgs handled in just 24 hours!
— WhatsApp Inc. (@WhatsApp) June 12, 2013
If you’re confused as to how WhatsApp counted 17 billion received messages but just 10 billion messages sent it’s because many people use the app to send group texts, meaning that one sent message is received by multiple people. Besides group messaging, the main appeal of the app is the ability to send free text and multimedia across devices running iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry and more.
WhatsApp’s rapid growth over the first half of 2013 is relatively unmatched in its field, and company CEO Jan Koum announced last April that that the app, which cost $0.99 per year on some platforms, had over 200 million active users, putting it on par with Twitter, and it’s likely the most used mobile messaging service. The app even got its own dedicated button on Nokia’s Asha 210 handset earlier this year.
Meanwhile, BlackBerry’s once dominant BBM service has just 60 million users sending about 10 billion messages per day. WhatsApp’s biggest competition at the moment may be coming from Asia, where Chinese service WeChat boasts over 300 million users, while Line in Japan and Nimbuzz in India both have over 150 million subscribers.