Just providing my own anecdote to the conversation. Seems like the entire* country of Dominican Republic is using WhatsApp. From what I recall, BlackBerry Messenger had become the IM app of choice. People saw it as "free SMS". Everyone wanted a BlackBerry, just for the messenger app. Long after RIM had lost most of it's marketshare here in the US, it was still going strong there. Eventually though, they couldn't ignore the iPhone anymore, and WhatsApp was one of the few IM apps that worked across the phones. Now, black berry is dead, and iPhones have iMessage, but WhatApp has momentum, and much better group messaging features.
I personally don't know of anyone in the US that uses WhatsApp without there having been a need to communicate which someone internationally that has it.
Stop looking for users in the US. That's not where the WhatApps users are.