Active useage of WhatsApp, the messaging application that Facebook acquired for $19 billion, grew 230% in North America in 2013, according to a recent report by GlobalWebIndex.

The survey of mobile internet users found 7 million people in North America now use the app, still a relatively small number compared with its active user base in Asia (101 million), Europe (45 million), Latin America (38 million), and the Middle East/Africa (15 million).

In terms of active use—those who say they have used the app in the last month, rather than just having it installed on their phone—WhatsApp can now boast more than 200 million users globally. That's an impressive 175% rise in 2013.

During the same period, GlobalWebIndex found active usage of Facebook fell 15% in North America.

Teen Useage 

  • In a related report, Global Web Index found 25% of 16-19-years-olds worldwide with mobile internet access say they actively use WhatsApp each month.
  • The analysis also found that the app had a 160% increase in use by teens with mobile internet access in 2013.
  • However, teen usage varies significantly by region. In the Middle East and Africa, some 69% of the teen mobile audience is using WhatsApp, compared with just 4% in North America.

About the research: The reports were based on data from an online global survey of mobile internet users.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

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Twitter: @ayaznanji