One phrase describes Whatsapp pretty aptly: ‘In a league of its own’. And in the quarterly earnings call that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took today, he further stamped authority on that phrase. According to Zuckerberg, Whatsapp, the popular IM service that Facebook acquired for a record $19 billion, is now delivering a gargantuan 100 billion messages in a day.
Will Cathart, head of Whatsapp at Facebook, confirmed the number in a tweet.
This year we’ve all relied on messaging more than ever to keep up with our loved ones and get business done. We are proud that @WhatsApp is able to deliver roughly 100B messages every day and we’re excited about the road ahead.
— Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) October 29, 2020
Now even though that number is a massively massive on its own, let us get some perspective. Back in 2016, when Whatsapp was already pretty big, both the platform and Facebook’s messenger were delivering 60 billion messages in a day, combined. For some more perspective, last year’s new year’s eve saw 100 billion messages exchanged in a day, the biggest bump for Whatsapp.
And while the numbers speak for itself, one needs to also appreciate the engineering capabilities of a rather small technology team at Whatsapp. While managing 100 billion messages on new year’s eve did result in some delayed message deliveries, the platform is now conveniently processing all that load on a daily basis. That is some technological feat.
The daily message number has doubled in a short span of just 6 years. Back in 2014, Whatsapp founder Jan Koum had said that the platform exchanged 50 billion messages in a day.