Facebook has some of the leading social media services under its umbrella. Instagram, Messenger, and of course Facebook are all in the company's repertoire. While Instagram is the growing network for the “cool” generation, it is another Facebook-owned service that is leading the company. WhatsApp.
Back in 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a massive $19 billion outlay. While the messaging service was already a massive success (450 million active users at the time), the price meant Facebook was taking a massive risk.
However, the decision is starting to pay off as App Annie reports WhatsApp is now Facebook's most popular service. Yes, even more popular than the company's flagship social network on mobile platforms.
The shift happened last September. App Annie, a research firm, says WhatsApp's monthly active users across Android and iOS surpassed Facebook's. The firm says the lead has been maintained in the months following September.
Over 2018 as a whole, App Annie says on average per month Facebook remained the top app. Still, WhatsApp took over through the year in India, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Switzerland, Spain, Singapore, Russia, Netherlands, Mexico, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Germany, Finland, and Brazil.
In the United States, WhatsApp seems to not be as popular as in other markets. In fact, the app did not even make the top 10 while Facebook and Messenger were in the top spots.
As mentioned, when Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, the service had 450 million active users. The company does not send out updated usage figures often. That said, during Facebook's Q3 2018 financial results, CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered user figures across all core apps:
“There are now more than 2.6 billion people using Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger each month, up from around 2.5 billion last quarter. But now, on average, more than 2 billion people use at least one of our services every day.”