Indians make 50 million minutes of video calls daily via WhatsApp, the highest compared to users in any other part of the globe. WhatsApp, a popular messaging app that competes with the likes of Hike, Google’s Allo and Viber in India, started offering video calling feature in November last year.
The video calling feature also pitched WhatsApp against popular video calling apps like Microsoft’s Skype, Apple’s FaceTime and Google Duo. Since then, it has seen a steady growth in usage. One of the driving factors has been falling data prices and free promotional data by new comer, Reliance Jio.
As per data shared by WhatsApp, India is the top country for video calling minutes with over 50 million video calling minutes per day.
Globally, users make over 55 million video calls per day, spending more than 340 million minutes per day on these calls. WhatsApp is also home to over 200 million monthly active users. This is the highest base for WhatsApp that has over a billion users globally. WhatsApp has been working on solutions to enable businesses to use its platform to connect with consumers and India, it says, will play a “crucial role” for the product.
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While the Facebook-owned company has said it will not introduce third-party advertisements on its platform, it is testing tools that allow users to communicate with businesses and organisations like banks and airlines through its platform.
WhatsApp has been working on introducing features to enhance engagement on the platform. It had recently launched a story feature to allow users to express their thoughts using pictures and animations.
WhatsApp is also attempting to foray into digital payment services, with India as a test bed.
The company is looking to hire a digital transactions head for the country. In February, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton had met IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss ways in which WhatsApp could contribute to India’s vision for digital commerce.