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WhatsApp smashes records with 27B messages in a day

WhatsApp, the mobile messaging app that lets you text without having to pay for SMS, has announced an impressive milestone.

The company recently processed an incredible 27 billion messages in a single day, crushing its previous one-day record of 18 billion messages, set this past New Year's Eve. WhatsApp did not reveal exactly when it set the new record, but tweeted that it processed more than 10 billion inbound (sent) messages and 17 billion outbound (received) messages by its users on that day.

The new record represents massive growth for the messaging service in less than six months. On December 31, its previous record-setting day, WhatsApp processed 7 billion inbound messages and 11 billion outbound messages.

To put those 27 billion messages into perspective, one billion daily messages are equivalent to "41,666,667 messages an hour, 694,444 messages a minute, and 11,574 messages a second," WhatsApp said back in October 2011, when it crossed the one billion message mark.

In comparison, Apple's iMessage service, as of January, generates more than two billion messages per day and has been credited with the decline in text messaging. People aren't actually sending fewer messages, but are instead turning to IP-based messaging services, like iMessage, BlackBerry Messenger - and WhatsApp.

The WhatsApp service — available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone, and Nokia devices — allows users to exchange messages without a paid SMS plan, by using the same data plan on which emails and web browsing run.

Beyond just messaging, WhatsApp users can create groups and send each other unlimited images, as well as video and audio messages.