Number of WeChat Users (2011–2021)
Launched in 2011, WeChat ranks among the most popular messaging apps in the world. Even though it’s still not as widely used as WhatsApp, the number of people using WeChat is definitely on the rise, and it may be only a matter of time before it becomes the top messaging app worldwide.
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How many people use WeChat?
The latest data shows that at the end of 2021, there were close to 1.3 billion WeChat users worldwide. This marks a 3.5% annual increase, the smallest year-over-year growth the messaging app has experienced since its launch.
The number of people using WeChat has been increasing year after year. At the end of Q1 2011, barely a year after its launch, it hit 50 million users. Just a year later, it more than tripled its user count, growing to 160.8 million.
The rapid rate of increase in the number of WeChat users continued in the following years, and the app eventually crossed the one billion mark in 2018.
From 2011 to 2021, the number of WeChat users grew at an average annual growth rate of 48.7%, with the fastest growth coming in the first few years. From 2011 to 2016, the average annual growth rate registered at 90%. This slowed to 7.4% for the period between 2017 and 2021.
Zooming in to look at quarterly data, the only time the number of people using WeChat decreased was in the fourth quarter of 2012, when it fell 23.3% from the previous quarter.
Owned by Chinese company Tencent, WeChat was first launched in China. With other popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger blocked there, it’s no surprise that WeChat is, by far, the most popular chat app there.
So then, how many people use WeChat in China?
The latest statistics show that in 2022, there are 811 million WeChat users in China, which accounts for 57.9% of the total population. In other words, approximately two-thirds of all users of WeChat are located in China.
WeChat usage in China is experiencing a similar growth trend, with the number of users expected to increase every year between 2021 and 2025. According to analysts’ forecast, by 2025 there will be 864.8 million people in China using WeChat, representing 61.4% of the population.