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Number of monthly active users on WhatsApp in India 2013-2017

India recorded about 200 million monthly active users in February 2017. With over 460 million internet users, India ranked second largest in the internet market worldwide. By 2023, it was estimated that this figure would surpass over 666 million internet users. Interestingly, amongst these users, over 390 million people accessed the web over their mobile phones.

The rise of digital India

With a mobile friendly approach to the internet, the use of social media applications was correspondingly high in India. By 2021, studies had found that around 29 percent of the total population would be active social media users. Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp were ranked among the most popular social networking sites in the country based on usage reach.

Social media transcends socio-economic boundaries

The high penetration of the mobile messaging application came as no surprise considering that the use of the messaging app had been increasing rapidly over the last few years. Although most WhatsApp users came from urban areas, rural areas recorded an increasing share of the app adoption. This adoption spread was also true across income groups. With increasing social media usage, there was also rising issues with the believability of information shared over these platforms, leading to the increase in fake news and cybercrime.

Number of monthly active WhatsApp users in India from August 2013 to February 2017

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Release date

February 2017



Survey time period

August 2013 to February 2017

Supplementary notes

No data for missing period. Data prior to November 2016 from previous publications.

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Statistics on "Mobile messenger apps"

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