Market Overview

Facebook Vs. WhatsApp: Which Company Is More Valuable?

Facebook Vs. WhatsApp: Which Company Is More Valuable?

Before investors complain about the purchase price, they might want to take a closer look at WhatsApp's statistics.

Facebook's MAUs (monthly active users): 1.23 billion as of Dec. 31, 2013.

  • WhatsApp's MAUs: more than 450 million as of this past Wednesday.
  • Twitter's MAUs: 241 million as of Dec. 31, 2013.
  • WhatsApp launched in 2009 -- five years after Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and three years after Twitter (NYSE: TWTR). Facebook is still the dominant player, but WhatsApp is growing at a rate of more than one million registered users per day. If this keeps up, WhatsApp should cross the 500 million MAU mark before summer.
  • Daily Active Users
  • Facebook's DAUs (daily active users): 757 million on average for December 2013
  • WhatsApp's DAUs*: approximately 315 million (currently)
  • Twitter's DAUs: unknown, but Twitter was at 100 million DAUs in October 2013
  • "Look at the daily active users that WhatsApp has versus what Facebook has," Eleni Marouli, an advertising analyst at IHS Technology, told Benzinga. "It's impressive. It's a much smaller company -- it's 55 employees and 32 developers compared to Facebook's however many thousands. They still managed to have such dedicated and engaged users."

Related: Facebook Wraps Up A Great 2013 With Q4 Earnings Beat

*No exact number was provided for WhatsApp's DAUs, but Facebook said that approximately 70 percent of its MAUs are active on a given day (70 percent of 450 million equals 315 million).

This is a higher percentage of DAUs than Facebook (roughly 60 percent of its users sign in daily) and Twitter (which had 218 million MAUs in October -- more than double its DAUs).

To be fair, WhatsApp has a number of inherent advantages. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, which are full-fledged social networks, WhatsApp is a high-end replacement for traditional text messages. Users can easily share photos and videos via WhatsApp. And since it uses data (not a texting plan), the $0.99 annual fee is easy for users to swallow.

Facebook and Twitter are currently free, but users don't need to sign into them every day. However, you'd be hard-pressed to find a smartphone user who doesn't send at least one text a day.

Other Notable Stats

WhatsApp messaging volume is approaching the entire global SMS telecom volume (19 billion sent and 34 billion received per day).

More than 600 million photos, 200 million voice messages and 100 million video messages are uploaded every day.

  • On Dec. 31, 2012, WhatsApp processed 18 billion total messages.
  • On Dec. 31, 2013, the app processed 54 billion messages.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

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