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Is WhatsApp Social Media?

Written by, Andriana Moskovska

Updated September, 30, 2022

Whatsapp was founded in 2009 by two ex-Yahoo employees and later acquired by Facebook, now Meta, in 2014. Between the change of ownership and new features, it prompted triggered a curious debate: 

 Is Whatsapp social media or just a messaging app? 

Let’s find out.

Is WhatsApp A Social Media Platform?

Whether you were trying to convince a friend that WhatsApp is a social network platform or always believed that the app belonged in that category, you were right. 

WhatsApp is a social media app. In fact, it’s the third most popular and the No. 1 messaging app in the world and has 40.23 million users in the UK alone.

Why Is WhatsApp A Social Media Platform?

WhatsApp ticks all the boxes that make the app a social network. By definition, social media platforms allow users to share photos, videos, and other user-generated content. WhatsApp’s primary feature is messaging, or at least that’s what most of its users have downloaded in the first place, but it has some other features that make it a social platform as well. 

So let’s take a closer look at WhatsApp social media apps and features that allow the app to fall in the social media platform category. 

Identity Information

Privacy has become a controversial issue on social media and Whatsapp is no exception. 

WhatsApp users can share their personal information, including their name, gender, age, and educational background, on the platform, which is one of the key features of a social media service. 

WhatsApp doesn’t go as far as Facebook, where you can list your entire family tree, but you can share your name and current location and the app uses your cell phone number.

Profile Picture 

Like other social networking platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, WhatsApp allows you to add and customise your profile picture. The ability to set up your own profile pictures and see those of other users is an essential part of any social media platform. 

However, since WhatsApp is more phone number-based, users can hide their profile picture from people who aren’t in their contact list. 


Sharing is a vital part of any social media network. On WhatsApp, users can share pictures, videos, regardless of whether they were take in-app or sat in your photo library on your phone, and even send each other voice recordings. 

WhatsApp enables this feature both in individual and group chats

Unlike Facebook and Instagram, WhatsApp users cannot share media as posts on a newsfeed, but they can add a description to their profile. 

User Presence and Status

The social media WhatsApp allows its users to keep tabs on contacts that are online. This means you can always check if any of your contacts are online and when they last appeared online, unless they have chosen to hide their “last seen online” status. 

The app also has a “status sharing” features designed by the example of Instagram and Facebook stories. Users can share photos, videos, text, or GIFs, which are only visible for 24 hours and accessible to people in your contact list. 

WhatsApp promises they’re end-to-end encrypted as well. 

Build for Conversations

Conversations are one aspect of WhatsApp that sets it apart from its competitors. Users can enjoy private talks for hours via texting, video or audio calls. Ultimately, It helps users maintain social interaction and establish new connections, which is what social media is all about.

One feature that separates WhatsApp from other social media networks is the ability to change fonts when sending messages.

Unlike traditional platforms, which encourage passive involvement, messaging services typically require direct engagement and more personal involvement. It may not be what most people think of when they think of “social media,” but it doesn’t get much more social than that.

Bottom Line 

WhatsApp is more than just an instant messaging service; it’s a social media platform. It may not seem like it at first, with its messaging features at the front, but WhatsApp allows users to share their private information and videos and photos as both parts of the Status update feature, which are key characteristics of any social media platform. 

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

Why is WhatsApp considered social media?

WhatsApp offers a range of social features so, if you are wondering, “is WhatsApp a social media” the answer is – Yes, it is! It is considered to be a social media platform because of some of its features like Status sharing, media sharing, and the ability to set up profile pictures and share media files in chat.

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