Improving technologies paired with increased competitiveness on the mobile service providers market have led to ever decreasing costs for SMS-based communication. Nevertheless, user demand for social media-like features, such as sharing of photos, videos, voice messages or emoticons, as well as zero or low costs through an internet connection, have created a need on the market for mobile messenger apps.
With 1.2 billion monthly users around the world as of January 2017, WhatsApp is the global market leader, followed by Facebook Messenger and QQ Mobile. However, regional markets differ greatly, with the notable mention of the Asian mobile messenger app market, where a number of local products are continuously expanding and competing for leadership. The most important players here are the Chinese WeChat, with 889 million monthly active users, followed by the Japan-based LINE, with 217 million users and the South Korean KakaoTalk. All three are market leaders in their country of origin.