WhatsApp overtakes SMS?

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Instant messaging platform, WhatsApp, claims that it now handles more than 50 billion total messages per day from 430 million monthly active users. Those are impressive figures. Some say those figures rival and probably have overtaken SMS volumes.

This is interesting news, especially in light of feelers that some Nigerian operators are planning to block free over-the-top (OTT) content services like Skype, Google Hangout, Viber and Tango, on smartphones, over concerns of revenue loss on international calls and messaging. Surely, they must have WhatsApp too in their sights.


  1. This was just a matter of time. What sane man would want to purchase 250 sms for N1,000 here, when a WhatsApp would probably do 10 million messages for that same amount.

    Sms has been a collosal ripoff, worldwide, and of course, nothing lasts forever.

    The honeymoon is over for those Telcos.

    Voice is in death throes . Sms is dying. Data is getting febrile .. .

  2. EyeBeekay,

    Very true. SMS has always been a rip-off since God sent Adam and Eve out of Eden. When you compare how much cheaper it is to send a 1,000-word email compared to the cost of a 160-character SMS, it dawns on you.

  3. Voice will always be in the equation because there are people you will never attempt reaching via instant messaging. SMS too will still be in the equation for a long time to come because people and organizations have discovered that it is an easy way of reaching people en masse at least on this part of the planet.

    I don’t think the operators will be able to block WhatsApp or BBM without drawing the ire of the masses, causing unrest that will cause the authorities to intervene. Voice call has been so traditional and pivotal to their business that NCC may sympathise with them if they start blocking say Skype and other services that offer VoIP and there is relatively very small percentage of the subscribers using them but if they touch WhatsApp or BBM in this country, they will be inviting trouble from the subscribers.

  4. You’re very right on that one. Blocking WhatsApp isn’t even an option for them. Aren’t they ripping us off on data as it is? My monthly airtime budget used to be like 1k to 2k before my first Android but I notch up at least 5k monthly now (I have “free” access during the day at work) meaning more revenue to the telcos.

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