Introduction: The objective of this research was to analyse how the use of instant messaging services impacts the Spanish university context and what positive and negative consequences it generates on students' behaviour. In order to do this, we worked on the most popular application in the territory in question, WhatsApp, and its use by university students. Methodology: The research developed has used the quantitative technique (survey to a sample n = 332) to determine the use that is given to conventional text messages, as well as other options for instant messaging (such as voice or images). Likewise, some impacts on the academic environment were analysed, such as the possible stress it generates on human behaviour. Results and conclusions: The main conclusions of the study include the convenience and free nature of WhatsApp that drive its use in the educational environment. It can be seen that the majority of students use this type of instant messaging applications also for issues related to university affairs -besides their personal lives-. In addition, it has been found that a very high percentage of the groups analysed are members of a study-related chat group or is included in conversation groups on academic subjects.