YouTube and WhatsApp inch closer to half a billion users in India – TechCrunch

WhatsApp Has enjoyed unmatched reach in India over the years. By mid-2019, Facebook-owned apps were The country has more than 400 million users. Its closest app rival at the time was YouTube, which according to the company’s own statement and data from mobile insights firm App Annie, then had around 260 million users in India.

Things have changed dramatically since then.

In the month of December, Youtube According to App Annie, there were 425 million monthly active users on Android phones and tablets in India, whose data was shared by an industry executive with TechCrunch. In comparison, WhatsApp had 422 million monthly active users on Android in India last month.

Factoring in the traction these two apps have captured on iOS devices, WhatsApp is still gaining in India with 459 million active users1, But YouTube is not far behind with 452 million users.

With China closing its doors to American tech giants, India emerged as the top market for Silicon Valley and Chinese companies wanted to continue their growth over the past decade. India had around 50 million Internet users in 2010, but ended the decade with over 600 million. Google and Facebook Played his role to do this.

Over the past four years, both Google and Facebook have invested in ways to bring the Internet to those who are offline in India, a country of about 1.4 million people. Google launches a project to bring Wi-Fi to 400 railway stations Planned to do more in the country Extend this program to other public places. Facebook Launched Free Basics in India, And then – the program was after Restricted in country – this Express launched Wi-Fi.

Both Google and Facebook, which identify India as their largest market by users Their connectivity efforts have declined In recent years Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, took it upon himself to bring the country online. After their success, both companies Multibillion-dollar purchased The stakes In his firm, The Jio platform, which has amassed over 400 million subscribers.

The cut-rate mobile data tariffs of Jio platforms have allowed millions of people in India, where most of the online user base was already conscious of how much data they spend on the Internet, to worry about for, Hours of content on YouTube And Other video platforms In recent years. Why can this development explain Google is doubling On Short video app.

The new data shared with TechCrunch describes several other findings about the Indian market. Even WhatsApp’s growth has slowed down2 In India, it continues to enjoy an unprecedented loyalty among its users.

Over 95% of WhatsApp’s monthly active users in India use the app every day, and nearly its entire user base checks the app at least once a week. In comparison, three-quarters of YouTube’s active users in India are also daily active users.

The data also showed that both Google’s eponym as well as Chrome – such as YouTube, shipped pre-installed3 It has also overtaken more than 400 million monthly active users in India in recent months – on most Android smartphones. Compared to Facebook’s app, India had around 325 million monthly active users last month.

When asked for comment, a Google spokesperson pointed to TechCrunch A report by comScore last year, Which estimated that YouTube has around 325 million monthly unique users in India in May 2020.

A separate report by research firm Media Partners Asia on Monday estimated that YouTube generated 43% (about $ 1.4 billion) of revenue generated in the online video market in India last year. Disney + Hotstar accounted for 16% of the market, while Netflix accounted for 14%.


1 For simplicity, I have not obtained WhatsApp Business and YouTube Kids App in India. WhatsApp and YouTube also maintain apps on KaiOS, which gives power to the handsets of JioPhone in India. At the last count – which was a long time ago – more than 40 million JioPhone handsets were shipped to India. TechCrunch could not determine the inroad performed by any app on this platform. Additionally, YouTube’s statistics on Android (phone and tablet) and iOS (iPhone and iPad) will likely overlap. The same is not true of WhatsApp, which restricts a phone number to an account. So if I installed WhatsApp on iPhone with my primary phone number, then I cannot use WhatsApp with the same number on Android phones – at least not concurrently.
2 WhatsApp business seems to be growing well, having more than 50 million users in India. And some of the cavites from number 1 also apply here.
3 Users still have to engage with the app for App Annie and other mobile insights firms so that they can be actively counted. So while pre-installing the app provides Google with an unprecedented distribution, their app still has to win over users.