(Photo Credit: Anton via pexel images)

It is no doubt today that WhatsApp has become the most important tool of communication globally. Launched in 2009 and later acquired by Facebook in 2014 for USD$19 billion, the social messaging platform has nearly 1.75 billion active users.

Early this month, research firm App Annie announced WhatsApp had surpassed Facebook’s own marquee app to become the most popular app by Facebook. Which meant that the app was used and downloaded more than the Facebook app.

India is reported to be by far WhatsApp’s largest market in terms of total number of users—with a reported 70 million monthly active users.

Facebook has to-date tried to make the WhatsApp app favor everyone. For instance, language. Language is one of the biggest barriers today—looking at the perspective of communication. We then therefore opt for a translator (either a person or a developed application).

WhatsApp is by default in English language. English is the second most spoken language with about 983 million speaker to Mandarin Chinese that has 1.1 billion speakers. However, WhatsApp is available in over 40 languages (Swahili inclusive). As a general rule, WhatsApp follows the language of your phone. For example, if you change the language of your phone to Swahili, WhatsApp will automatically be in Swahili.

But not that this work for everyone. Users will have to change their language preference in the WhatsApp app as well. This means that if you phone language is Swahili, your WhatsApp will remain in the default language till you change it to Swahili.


  1. On Android:
    Open Settings app, >> tap on languages and input (opens the available languages). Then select the language you want to use, and click okay.
    Once you refresh your app, and start it again, you find all text appearing in that language.
  2. On iOS: 
    Open settings app, >> tap on general then locate the language & region. Select iPhone language, choose the language of your preference, >> click OK.
    Again, refresh you the app, and start it again, you find all text appearing in that language.