WhatsApp in Europe – Facts and figures

One of the most fascinating things about WhatsApp is its popularity in Europe. Even though the solution is often hailed as a cutting-edge messaging app for developing nations, it is almost as popular in some European countries.

The statistics prove that Europeans love WhatsApp and cannot get enough of it. Data provided by
proves that WhatsApp use is as widespread in some European countries as it is in the developing world. These numbers show just how popular WhatsApp is in the European Union:


  • 70% of Spain’s Internet users also chatted on WhatsApp.
  • 62% of Italians were WhatsApp users.
  • 61% of the Internet users in the Netherlands were also utilizing WhatsApp.
  • 57% of Germany’s Internet users were sending messages through WhatsApp.
  • Around 34% of people in the United Kingdom and Ireland were WhatsApp users.

How Divorce Can Teach Us about WhatsApp Marketing in Italy

These numbers show us that ecommerce entrepreneurs looking for a communications solution that can reach Europeans, including some of the world’s most affluent people, should definitely take a look at WhatsApp. The humble messaging app seems to be as popular in the land of high-speed trains and fine wine as it is in developing nations filled with oxcarts and muddy water.

WhatsApp also seems to be very well suited for some European cultures, including those of Spain and Italy. The Italian Association of Matrimonial Lawyers reported that WhatsApp evidence is now being used in 40% of the divorce cases in Italy, an article in Britain’s Independent indicates.

WhatsApp has actually encouraged the return of the Latin Lover, the Association’s President Gian Ettore Gassani told The Times of London. This would seem to indicate that WhatsApp is both a part of people’s lives and a behavior-changing solution. That obviously means its potential for marketing and other ecommerce applications is vast as people are willing to adopt it quickly.

Social Media Marketing in Europe

Persons that want to reach Italians where they live should definitely consider taking advantage of WhatsApp. One excellent means of using WhatsApp to market to Italians is to send pictures on it.


Risqué pictures of lovers sent through WhatsApp is one of the main uses of WhatsApp in Italian divorces, Gassani noted. Obviously, people willing to send out pictures of lovers would be willing to send out pictures of other items they like, such as cars, clothing, or shoes.

One way a fashion designer could get the word out about her creations in Italy would be to use a WhatsApp Broadcast List to send picture of them to Italian contacts. The idea would be to try to get the pictures to go viral. A fashion designer would want to reach Italians because that country still plays a disproportionate role in the world’s fashion business. Designs and products from Milan are still sold around the world.

Another would be to place pictures of them on Pinterest , which is a social media solution for pictures. People can post images to Pinterest, which are then shared with others.

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Others that could take advantage of this kind of marketing would be artists, persons selling items such as antiques or cars, and professionals such as models. Anybody in an image-conscious business could use WhatsApp to reach people in Italy.

An Ideal Marketing Solution for Europe and the World

The popularity of WhatsApp in Europe could help ecommerce entrepreneurs with one of their biggest challenges: marketing to people in different countries with very different cultures.

Social media marketing efforts designed to reach Americans and Canadians often fall in flat for a variety of reasons. Europeans use different media socials; for example, Americans and Canadians seem to prefer Twitter and Facebook. North Americans are also more likely to connect to the Internet with a traditional desktop or laptop computer, while Southern Europeans are more likely to use a phone.


The way people view the Internet is often different as well. North Americans and Northern Europeans seem to view the Internet as primarily a source of information. Southern Europeans and people in some regions such as South America seem to see it as more of a communications channel.

One reason for this is how people connect to the net. Italians and Spaniards are more likely to connect through a smartphone. Swedes, Englishmen, and Americans are more likely to use a tablet.

A critical difference here is that Americans and Brits are more likely to get their information from a website, while Italians or Spaniards are more likely to get it from a phone. WhatsApp is also more effective in cultures that place a higher value on word of mouth and face-to-face contact, such as that in Italy.

Some people seem to prefer getting their information directly from an individual. Others seem to trust institutions or organizations more. This has to do with history and culture. Many Latins view most institutions as corrupt, so they place a greater store on individuals. People from English-speaking countries think in the reverse; they often view institutions as trustworthy and distrust individuals.

Tailor Marketing for Different Countries

What this means is that marketing and promotion efforts have to be tailored for different countries and different cultures. Formerly, only very large and rich companies like Coca-Cola and Volkswagen were able to do that.

Now individuals and small businesses can do the same thing by taking advantage of applications such as WhatsApp. WhatsApp Broadcast Lists in particular can now enable a person to create small-scale marketing efforts aimed at specific countries or groups. A marketer could create one list for Germany, one for the Netherlands, and one for Italy.

The material sent through these lists would be very different. It would be in different languages and emphasize different aspects of the product. Material sent to England might contain more written messages, and that sent to Italy would contain more pictures.

The popularity of WhatsApp in Europe could be a tremendous opportunity for marketers and ecommerce entrepreneurs. Those that learn how to market through WhatsApp in Europe should be able to leverage its power to market all over the world.

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