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WhatsApp Statistics UK Edition [2024]

“Behind every product decision is our desire to let people communicate anywhere in the world without barriers.” – www.whatsapp.com

Launched as a chat app service for iOS phones in 2009, WhatsApp released its Android version in 2010. It took just four years for this free messenger app to hit a milestone of 200 million users. However, after the recent changes in its privacy policy, WhatsApp has faced quite a backlash. Read on to learn the latest WhatsApp statistics UK and how the recent policy changes impacted the UK’s WhatsApp users and usage.

WhatsApp Users Statistics

Here are some vital statistics about WhatsApp users in the UK:

WhatsApp was downloaded 2.34 million times in the UK in the fourth quarter of 2020

This shows how fast WhatsApp users are growing in the United Kingdom. When it comes to WhatsApp downloads on smartphones, the UK came in third place in Q4 of 2020.

The total number of monthly active WhatsApp users in the UK as of 2021 is 30.1 million, out of 62 million internet users in the UK

Based solely on the total number of WhatsApp users, it is easy to see that it beats all other well-established social media platforms and messenger apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

The WhatsApp users penetration rate was 77% in the third quarter of 2020

The penetration rate was 67% in Q3 of 2019. It shows a 10% increase in penetration between 2019 and 2020.

WhatsApp Statistics UK by User Demographics

Since Whatsapp is one of the most popular messaging apps for all age groups in the UK, let’s look at the app’s usage among different demographics.

Facebook and WhatsApp are used equally by British men

73% of men in the UK use both WhatsApp and Facebook. However, UK women use Facebook more than WhatsApp.

85% of British women use Facebook messenger while 81% use WhatsApp

This means that females here prefer Facebook messenger more than WhatsApp. These apps are followed by YouTube and Instagram.

If we were to breakdown WhatsApp number of users in terms of their age, here’s what the demographics would be like:

In the UK, as of 2020, WhatsApp was the most popular application among people aged between 26 and 35

Nearly 85% of the people aged 26 to 35 used WhatsApp. This was followed by people aged between 15 and 25, and 36 and 45, with 79% each.

WhatsApp Statistics UK by Usage

Following up are some interesting statistics regarding WhatsApp usage in the UK.

In 2020, 73% of UK WhatsApp users used the app daily

Similarly, 94% of users accessed WhatsApp messenger weekly.

39% of the British think that messenger apps have a positive impact on their lives

However, 49% of  WhatsApp and social media users think there is no impact of these apps on their lives at all.

WhatsApp Business Usage

If you are wondering how many businesses are using WhatsApp in the UK, then this section is a good read for you. In it, we will share all the details regarding WhatsApp Business usage in the UK. Take a look:

WhatsApp Business was initially launched in five markets.

Did you know that the UK was among the chosen five? That’s right. The UK, along with the US, Indonesia, Italy, and Mexico, was selected for the WhatsApp business launch on Android.

Other WhatsApp business statistics UK are that:

Messages sent outside the 24-hour service window are charged 3 cents per message template in the UK

It is important to note that WhatsApp does allow your business to contact customers after the 24-hour window runs out but only using a message template.

WhatsApp after the Terms of Service Update

Here are all the details regarding WhatsApp new terms of service and the UK user reaction:

In January 2021, WhatsApp issued a new privacy Policy

This policy was announced along with an ultimatum—accept the new terms or delete WhatsApp from your phone. However, the policy was gravely misinterpreted. Many thought that WhatsApp would be sharing their confidential and personal data with Facebook—its’ parent company.

Millions stopped using WhatsApp soon after the policy launch

According to the top data protection regulator in the UK told lawmakers that millions of people stopped using WhatsApp after policy changes.

WhatsApp users have started looking for alternative messaging services

These alternative messaging services included Signal and Telegram. WhatsApp users’ shift was natural because it was believed that people expect companies that they use services to maintain their trust and not to change the contract that they have with the customers.

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy suggests that messages will no longer be end-to-end encrypted when you text some businesses. 

This would mean that the users’ messages could be easily shared with third-party vendors, including Facebook, which is why switching may seem like a better option to some.

Similarly, Britons are thinking of switching or have already switched to Telegram and/or Signal because these apps keep messages encrypted. Here’s how:

After the announcement of new terms of service, WhatsApp was forced to postpone the implementation date from 8th February to May 15th due to the backlash it received

The original cut-off date was February 8th 2021. However, when criticized heavily for the notification that suggested the data will be shared with Facebook, the backlash was inevitable, thus, the deadline was pushed back.

WhatsApp ran a damage limitation campaign to overcome the backlash

WhatsApp ran this campaign to explain to users the changes and remove misconceptions about data sharing.

WhatsApp policy changes were made for two crucial reasons—transparency and implementation of new features. 

WhatsApp director clarified that the changes were intended to achieve two purposes: to enable their new set of features around their business messaging service and to provide greater transparency. It was further added that there were no changes that WhatsApp had made to their data sharing policies with Facebook.

In January 2021, WhatsApp became the 23rd most downloaded app in the United Kingdom.

Before January 12th, WhatsApp was the eighth most downloaded app in the UK, but its ranking dropped significantly after the policy change announcement.

Did you know that until January 6th, the Signal app was not even in the 1000 top apps list in the UK? Thanks to WhatsApp’s new policy changes, Signal gained a lot of traffic and has become one of the popular messaging apps overnight. In January 2021, Telegram had 500 million monthly active users worldwide, with more than 25 million users joined in only three days.

WhatsApp implemented the new Terms of Service on May 15th 2021

WhatsApp didn’t delete any account for not accepting its new privacy update but it limited its functionality.

Number of WhatsApp Users

When compared to other social media channels or messenger apps, here’s how WhatsApp ranks: 

WhatsApp continues to rank as the most popular app in the UK, with 81%

This is huge! WhatsApp is followed by Facebook Messenger by 75%, then Snapchat by 25%, Skype, Google Hangouts, Telegram, and other social media platforms.

WhatsApp introduced video and voice calls on its desktop version in March 2021

They plan to rival the likes of Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime. By introducing voice and video calls, WhatsApp has given its users a chance to easily call on the large screen and easily connect with others. This will further allow users to work on the big screen with colleagues, free up their hands to move around while talking on the large screen, and see people more clearly on the bigger canvas.


In a nutshell, after looking at Whatsapp Statistics UK in particular, we can say that the new terms have lowered the app’s popularity both in the UK and the rest of the world. Although it is still popular among all apps used in the UK, if WhatsApp is compared with itself over the years, there has been a drop in the user base that WhatsApp must focus on and regain to prevent competitors from taking the lead and capturing their market share.

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