WhatsApp dominates South Africa's instant chat landscape. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Johannesburg - Popular instant messaging service WhatsApp has grown to half the size of social media giant Facebook.
On Wednesday, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced the service’s latest user numbers.
"Today, we’re thrilled to share that WhatsApp has more than 700 million monthly active users. Additionally, every day our users now send over 30 billion messages," Koum said.
Facebook also acquired WhatsApp last year for $19bn, a move that has boosted the combined user reach of the two social media services.
Photo-sharing web app Instagram was also bought by Facebook for $1bn in 2012.
Instagram announced last month that it has more than 300 million users, overtaking Twitter’s reported 284 million active users.
Facebook recorded 1.35 billion monthly active users as of September 30, 2014.
South Africa social media stats
The World Wide Worx and Fuseware SA Social Media Landscape 2015 report ranked Facebook as the number one social media network in South Africa with 11.8 million users.
WhatsApp follows with 10 million users in SA, according to the study.
Meanwhile, Instagram grew from 680 000 active users in 2013 to top 1.1 million in 2014 and Twitter has 6.6 million users in SA.
The World Wide Worx and Fuseware research also noted how South Africans are increasingly turning to their phones to access social networks.