Record 18 Billion WhatsApp Messages Sent On New Year's Eve

Anyone who's seen the iOS app store chart knows that the mobile messaging service WhatsApp is popular.

But did you know how popular?

According to the site, on December 31 alone it processed more than 18 billion messages.

More than 7 billion inbound messages were sent, it said, and 11 billion outbound messages.

That's 208,333 a second.

That total breaks WhatsApp's previous record of 10 billion messages in a day, sent in August.

WhatsApp is an ad-free, paid service intended to replace your text messaging plan. Generally it works out cheaper, particularly when sending messages overseas, because it uses WiFi or mobile networks to carry texts instead.

It's available for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Phone and Nokia phones.

Its success hasn't gone unnoticed - according to rumours published last year by Techcrunch and others WhatsApp might still be facing a potential acquisition by Facebook.

WhatsApp denies that Facebook has made an attempt to buy the service, but with this kind of success it can't be out of the question that several companies would be sizing up a potential takeover.