Probably you have never read the terms of service of WhatsApp. But there are some strange terms in it. Especially when you look at point 9 which is called “Ability to Accept terms of services”. There WhatsApp literally says: In any case, you affirm that you are at least 16 years old as the WhatsApp Service is not intended for children under 16. If you are under 16 years of age, you are not permitted to use the WhatsApp Service. This is quite striking since there are lots of kids that are using WhatsApp. Not only in the United States, but also in Europe.
A good example is Italy. In this country, over 70 percent of the WhatsApp users are aged between 11 and 17 years old. Also other European countries such as Germany, France and the Netherlands have lots of underage users. Another recent research of Telegraph shows that over 40% of kids between 8-16 years old are using WhatsApp.
WhatsApp seems to be very popular among kids. It is a relative anonymous way of communication with friends. Parents are not able to see what their kids are doing. They for example can’t see what is happening in the various WhatsApp groups. This is in contrast with e.g. Facebook, where parents can easily see what their kids share and like with friends.
WhatsApp is not the only service where users ignore the terms of service. Over 50% of the 8-16 years aged Facebook users ignored the age limit of 16 years. But also websites and services like Blackberry Messenger, Ask Fm and Snapchat have lots of underage users.