Marking a big shift in the way India messages, Whatsapp usage in India hit an all-time high on New Years’ eve as people continue to abandon conventional messaging, further reducing SMS revenue of telecom operators.
On December 31, Indians sent 14 billion messages on the instant messaging app. The figures, the company said, is unprecedented in Whatsapp’s history in India.
In a report earlier, research firm Ovum has mentioned that telecom operators, who are already seeing drop in voice and data realisation, will lose $3.1 billion by 2016.
“WhatsApp continues to be an essential part of our lives. Whether it is celebrating festivals and occasions with friends and family or staying connected, WhatsApp is an integral mode of communication for people to connect, transcending miles and distance. WhatsApp has continued to be convenient, fast, reliable and simple to use for everyone, everywhere,” the company said in a statement.
The rise in messaging will also help Whatsapp to generate more revenue that it intents to do in 2017. Neeraj Arora, head of business at Whatsapp had told HT earlier that the company “hopes to build [the same] experience within Whatsapp to interact with businesses.”
The instant messaging company owned by social media giant Facebook has 160 million users -- more than the population of Russia -- in India. That makes it even more important for Whatsapp to find ways to monetise its business in the country, which is also houses the world’s fastest growing internet population.
On the same day, users sent 3.1 billion images, 700 million GIFs and 610 million videos. The company also mentioned that 32% of the messages were in were some form of media (photos, GIFs, videos, voice messages).