The rise of WhatsApp on JustGiving, and other interesting stats from 2015

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This week, Mark Zuckerberg announced that WhatsApp has passed the massive milestone of 1 billion users. That’s impressive, and the growth in usage is something we’ve been following with great interest. Since we we first enabled fundraisers to share to WhatsApp in April last year, we’ve seen huge growth in sharing to WhatsApp and we’ve enabled sharing in more and more areas of the site. So we thought it would be a good time to share some data about, well, sharing. And not least:

  • Fundraisers raised £975,000 from WhatsApp sharing last year. Not bad since it only launched in April and only on the app, but tantalisingly close to a million. Oh well.
  • Still, with almost £200,000 raised via WhatsApp in January, we’ve now seen over £1 million donated via WhatsApp.

  • Almost £4 million was donated via Twitter last year, an increase of a third. So WhatsApp still has some way to go, but…
  • In January 2015, more mobile users shared to WhatsApp than Twitter. And WhatsApp sharing was second only to Facebook.
  • Having said that, Facebook still dominates: 46% of all traffic was from Facebook, generating well over £100 million last year.
  • Of the 50 million clicks on JustGiving content on Facebook, 70% were from women. 
  • Of the Facebook traffic, 80% was mobile. (and 60% of all visits were on mobile.)
  • There were nearly 4 million shares (that we tracked) on JustGiving last year. A third were from page owners. But most were from supporters, either on a fundraising or crowdfunding page or after making a donation.
  • Almost 40% more donors shared on mobile compared to desktop, and for the first time ever, these mobile shares generated more donations than desktop.
  • Donations made from the links people shared after donating on mobile tripled last year, from £700k to £2.2 million.
  • We proved A/B testing wording and button sizes & selection makes a big difference to sharing, with one test alone generating somewhere in the region of £2.5 million in extra donations. Win!

Do we have a prediction for how these numbers will change in 2016? Well, one month in and we can already see that sharing is continuing to grow. We have a bunch of tests in the pipeline for encouraging even more sharing, and we’ll expect WhatsApp to continue in popularity and start to replace Twitter as the second most important channel on mobile.

And as this is the tech blog, if anyone wants to know how we track all of this, then let us know in the comments and we’ll share that in a future post.

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Jonathan Waddingham

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  • Hi James 🙂

    Two ways. First, we used Google Analytics social tracking to track the number of clicks on the ‘share to whatsapp’ buttons. Second, each share was pre-filled with text and a URL with a utm_id code that allowed us to track return visits. We used utm_id as it meant we could have shorter URLs (like instead of adding a tonne of utm parameters to the URL and make it look ugly, or worse, spammy. We then uploaded a CSV file to Google Analytics which said matched each unique utm_id to a campaign, source and medium. See this article for more on that –
    From there, we can see the visits from those specific shares and see relative conversion rates and donation amounts. Of course, the one gap in this is we don’t know how many clicks on the whatsapp share buttons actually ended up sharing, so the true number of shares is likely to be smaller, but that means we’re probably undereporting the impact per share.



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