Statistical Population

Within an observation period of 9 months (July 2013 to April 2014), we monitored the usage behaviour of 1,000 randomly selected WhatsApp users. We deliberately chose WhatsApp, as it is considered to be one of the world’s most popular messenger apps, reporting 400 million monthly active users by the end of 2013. It should be noted, however, that our monitoring approach (see Technical Background) is general and could also be used to track users of other messaging services which also disclose the availability of their users, such as Telegram.

Monitored users from our sample set are uniformly distributed over the following countries:

  • United States
  • Italy
  • Russian Federation
  • Spain
  • Thailand
  • France
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
  • Turkey

Average Usage by County

The following table lists the average daily online time and the average number of connections (app launches) per country. In general, we observed that an ordinary user spends 35.15 minutes a day using WhatsApp. On average, the WhatsApp app is launched a total of approximately 23 times over the day.

The most active users within our data set were the Spanish, who spent 64.35 minutes a day online; almost twice the average. In contrast, the least active users within our set come from Thailand, using WhatsApp only for 5.46 minutes a day. While Italian users use WhatsApp 11.5 minutes less a day than users from Spain, however, Italians open WhatsApp just as often.

Daily WhatsApp Usage per User and Country

#Country Avg. onlinetime Avg. connections

Average Usage by Hour

Looking at the average usage distribution over the day, it can be seen, unsurprisingly, that people start using WhatsApp in the morning hours, at around 6 a.m., and that the overall usage reaches a plateau about noon. From noon until the evening hours, usage remains constant for most of the monitored countries. Particularly within southern European countries, such as Spain and Italy, however, we noticed a considerable peak during lunchtime, followed by a clearly visible drop in the afternoon, presumably related to traditional habits. Finally, the climax of WhatsApp usage in most countries is reached in the evening hours at around 9-10 p.m. This is followed by the least active usage period, the night.

#Hour Avg. onlinetime Avg. connections Sum. onlinetime Sum. connections

Please use the "Select Region" option to adjust the number of displayed countries.

When attributing the WhatsApp activity to different parts of the day, we found that almost half of the total online time (49.52%) occurred during from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. One-third of the online time (34.08%) occurred during the evening hours, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The least activity (16.4%) was measured during the night, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Usage throughout the Day

#Country Night (11 p.m. - 7 a.m.) Daytime (7 a.m. - 6 p.m.) Evenings (6 p.m. - 11 p.m.)

Average Usage by Weekday

While we also expected some fluctuations, such as more intensive usage over the weekend, we found that the average online time was almost constantly distributed over the week. Specifically, people spend two minutes longer on WhatsApp on Tuesdays than on Saturdays.

#Weekday Avg. onlinetime Avg. connections Sum. onlinetime Sum. connections

Please use the "Select Region" option to adjust the number of displayed countries.