WhatsApp is the most popular social media messaging platform across the world with a massive 1.6 billion monthly active users. It is now revealed the messaging app is, by far, the top social media platform of choice in most African countries.
WhatsApp is not only known for its ease of use, but it also carries an appeal as a one-stop-shop with features like group chats and the ability to send various multimedia elements along with text messages using a Lite interface. WhatsApp further became a VoIP giant with its free-calling service, apart from offering many other features like video calling and voice messages. All of these features have been a major hit in the continent. In Zimbabwe, the messaging platform had accounted for nearly half of the overall internet data back in 2017.
As it appears, the platform’s overwhelming popularity among users has been quite under-reported. This could be mainly due to the modified versions of the app which are available from third-party developers. These apps have also seen a significant increase in terms of usage in the African continent.
The apps, known as ‘WhatsApp MODs’, are generally shared directly from one handset to another and can also be downloaded from several sources other than the Play Store or the App Store. Due to this reason, those WhatsApp MODs do not appear in the download lists of the official app stores, taking away from the number of actual downloads. An obvious reason for the high uptake of these modified WhatsApp versions is the wider range of features that they offer as opposed to the original version.
GB WhatsApp, for example, is the most commonly used WhatsApp MOD in most of the African continent. It lets people use multiple accounts on a single app and also allows them to restore the deleted messages. Additionally, it also offers the ability to send and receive bigger multimedia files of up to 50 megabytes compared to just 16 megabytes on the original version. Besides, there are a few other privacy features that attract larger downloads. GB WhatsApp is so popular in the continent that the people use it more often than the Facebook app.