Is WhatsApp more popular with users than Twitter and Facebook?

Popular cross-platform messenger WhatsApp has more users than Twitter and processes more messages than Facebook, according to its boast-happy boss.

Speaking at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference in New York City, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum claimed that his service enjoys a total of 20 billion messages sent and received every day, though he didn't say what that figure translated into in terms of a monthly usership.

For its part, Twitter officially quotes 200 million users per month, while Facebook is thought to handle around 10 billion messages every day - about half the volume of WhatsApp.

According to Mr Koum, WhatsApp's popularity gives it huge potential for monetisation, though he insisted the company will continue to take the high-road and has no plans to cash in on its user base.

"We do have a manifesto opposing advertising. We're proud of that. Who likes advertising?" he said.

Mr Koum continued: "We're so bombarded with ads so much in our daily lives and we felt that smartphones aren't the place for that. Our phones are so intimately connected to us, to our lives. Putting advertising on a device like that is a bad idea."

"You don't want to be interrupted by ads when you're chatting with your loved ones. Our monetisation strategy is simple. One dollar a year. If we did something besides that, it would just get in the way," the WhatsApp CEO added.

WhatsApp currently charges 69p a year in the UK for a "subscription" to the service – essentially a glorified app download fee.

The platform's mercurial growth is widely attributed to its perception as a great value service - users can send messages between competing platforms for free, as well share photos over SMS at no additional charge.

Recently, it was thought that Google would acquire WhatsApp for $1 billion with a view to bolstering its messaging arsenal. However, WhatsApp promptly rebuffed the buy-out speculation.