Estimate the number of whatsapp messages sent per day?

estimation guess-estimates Market sizing
New answer on Apr 30, 2020
5 Answers
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PK asked on Apr 15, 2020
Director of Product at PayPal. Based in SF. Worked at Twitter, Yelp, Salesforce, Houzz in the past.

Clarifying Question:

  1. Considering it is for global users across the world

  2. Across mobile platforms (ios and android)

  3. Referring to text messages specifically and not gifs, video or voice calls

Total Messages Sent Per day = Messages sent in Developed world + Developing world + underdeveloped world per day

# of messages sent per day = # of users in every market x average messages sent per user.

World Population 7B, 50% internet penetration → 3.5B

Assuming Whatsapp has 50% penetration in the messaging space → 1.7B users

20% of the world is in developed world, 60% in developing countries, 20% in under developed countries. Assuming the same distribution holds for WhatsApp in these markets

Whatsapp developed user count → 0.2 x 1.7B → 340M users

Whatsapp developed user count → 0.6 x 1.7B → 1B users

Whatsapp developed user count → 0.6 x 1.7B → 340M users

Users in developed countries are reasonable users of WhatsApp but not as strong as developing countries. In general, I would assume 30% of their phone/text conversation happen on whatsapp. Rest happens on iMessage/android SMS, or messenger.

Assuming an average developed country user sends 10 unique messages/day → 3 of them happen on WhatsApp.

Users in developing countries tend to use WhatsApp the most and it accounts for 80% of their conversations. Assuming they send 15 messages per day, 80% of them come on whatsapp → 12 messages.

Users in underdeveloped countries tend to use WhatsApp a lot due to its free nature and it accounts for 80% of their conversations. Assuming they send 5 messages per day, 80% of them come on whatsapp → 4 messages.

Total Messages Sent --> Messages sent in Developed world + Developing world + underdeveloped world per day

→ (340M x 3) + (12x1B) + (340M x 4)

→ 14.4B messages are sent per day on whatsapp

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Clara
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replied on Apr 15, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello PK,

I have alredy answered to some of your questions regarding market sizing, they are truly interesting.

I believe tought you always have the same flaw: you only consider one of the two big segments (personal vs. professional users)

In this case, for instance, you assume they are only private users.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Vlad
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updated an answer on Apr 15, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

You forgot that many users use whatsup for business needs as a corporate messenger. You will be surprised how popular it is. So I would increase the usage in developing countries even further making the business usage a separate part of the analysis

Best

(edited)

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Nancy
Proficient
replied on Apr 18, 2020
Hi I am actively preparing for cases since this May, please feel free to reach out!

Hey there,

Just need to remind you that WhatsApp is not officially allowed in China, so you need to deduct 1.4B out of 7.0B of the world population. Otherwise, you will always overestimate the number when you make an assumption on the penetrations later on.

Thanks!

Jing

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RUBEN on Apr 19, 2020
Hi Jing, thanks for the information. I have done the case myself and I also had the same idea as you. However, my results are very sensitive on the assumption of the # of messages an individual sends per day. My assumption is an average of 20 messages for normal users and 60 messages for individuals that use it for business communications. I would like to see if someone has an idea to provide an estimation which is a little bit more solid. Best
Thomas
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 16, 2020
150+ interviews | 5+ years experience | Kearney & Accenture | Sold consulting startup| London Business School

Hi,

You are indeed missing out on the business segment. Moreover, this segment consists of two chunks. The first one being automated messages (e.g. airlines sending your boarding pass) and the second is interaction (e.g. customer service).

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Antonello
Expert
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replied on Apr 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I think it is a good approach. Always try to stay in 20 minutes and - if needed - accelerate some estimations by asking to the interviewer

Best,
Antonello

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Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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