WhatsApp. 18 Billion Messages in 24 Hours.

If you have any doubts about how social media has impacted everything from the greeting card industry, to the postal service look no further than WhatsApp. The mobile messaging service processed a record shattering 18 billion messages on New Year’s Eve. That’s right, 18 billion messages featuring emoticons, text effects, pictures, etc. in 24 hours. That’s 75 million direct messages an hour, worldwide.

The 18 billion breaks down to 11 billion outbound and 7 billion inbound messages. The outbound figure is dramatically higher because outbound messages sent to a group reflect the total number of people. Inbound messages count as one.

If you are unfamiliar with WhatsApp, it is a cross-platform mobile messaging application that allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends.

If I were in the business of helping people communicate in any form, I think I’d be taking a very hard look at this app and how I could do something similar, or better.