Is it possible that WhatsApp, the popular group messaging service that Google reportedly wanted to buy for $1 billion, has more users than Twitter and sees twice as many messages a day as Facebook does?

That’s what the company’s CEO claimed Wednesday.

Jan Koum said WhatsApp's monthly users number more than the 200 million Twitter says it has, though neglected to provide a more concrete figure when he spoke at a conference. Those millions of people send up to 20 billion messages a day, The Telegraph reported.

Many use WhatsApp as a way to skirt high SMS fees when they wish to chat with friends in another country. While there are suggestions WhatsApp (and similar services like Kik) pose a threat to text messaging, they're equally taking some attention away from widespread communication tools like Facebook and Twitter.

The subscription model WhatsApp is introducing (it costs 99 cents a year to use for new users, compared with a previous one-time fee) means it can eschew ads and let people focus on what matters to them—sending messages with family and friends.

Perhaps the best sign that WhatsApp is catching up with peers like Skype is the announcement that it may be blocked by Saudi officials, who claim that they are unable to monitor messages sent over such services due to encryption.

Photo by abulhussain/Flickr