WhatsApp Delivering 30 Billion Messages Per Day. Where’s iMessage?

 In News, Technology

If you are a WhatsApp user you’d be happy to know that you played a role in helping WhatsApp beat SMS in terms of messages sent per day. WhatsApp is now sending more than 30 billions messages per day. For comparison 20 billion SMS’s are sent per day globally.

WhatsApp has grown phenomenally over the last one year. The messaging giant has more than 700 million users and 70% of them remain active daily. When Facebook acquired WhatsApp in February last year for $19 billion it came as a huge surprise for many however, a year later it all just makes sense.

WhatsApp surpassing the number of SMS sent per day would have sounded bizarre a few years ago. Since the introduction of smartphones and BBM, SMS always felt outdated. WhatsApp successfully managed to offer what SMS couldn’t and did it free of cost and fast. By not being platform specific the messaging app offered what BBM didn’t at that time.

Blackberry really missed out by not opening up earlier. It is always interesting to wonder, what if BBM became cross-platform much earlier, would WhatsApp still be this big.

Apple offers iMessage as a messaging platform for iOS device owners. The company apparently has no plans to offer the service on Android or other smartphones operating systems. iOS 8 completely revamped the Messages app adding Snapchat like photo sharing feature and WhatsApp like Audio messages. iPhone 6 plus now even shows display photos of your contacts.

It is clear that Apple is watching its competitors closely and is moving thoughtfully by adding new features and making sure that iMessage stays relevant. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, last year shared that the company handles 40 billion iMessages and sends 15 to 20 million messages per day. We don’t have the latest numbers but with the growing number of iOS devices users this number would have certainly grown.

iMessage is great if most people who you contact on a daily basis have an iOS device however, the messaging service still has a long way to go. The most important aspect Apple needs to address is reliability. There have been numerous occasions when I’ve got message delivery failure error many times when sending photos as an iMessage. If you hit “try again” the second time your iPhone automatically sends the photos as a MMS which attracts heavy carrier charges for multiple photos.

On one hand having SMS and iMessage integrated within the same app is great when it works however, when it doesn’t one just regrets having the same app do both functions.

WhatsApp is a great messaging app, it is simple has no ads and is fast. I’ve met many people who even say that they are “addicted to WhatsApp”. It has become the social norm as it satisfies the need to stay connected in a distraction free manner.


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Ron Johnson