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Most popular mobile messaging apps worldwide as of January 2017, based on number of monthly active users (in millions)

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Monthly active users in millions
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Description Source More information
This statistic gives information on the most popular messaging apps worldwide as of January 2017, based on number of monthly active users. As of that month, 217 million users were accessing the LINE messenger app on a monthly basis.
Messaging apps

Instant messaging is a type of online chat which offers real-time text transmission over the internet. Since the appearance of smartphone and the subsequent explosion of mobile apps, low-cost or free chat and social messaging apps have proven themselves as a cheap alternative to operator-based text messaging via SMS. Many messenger apps offer features such as group chats, the exchange of graphics, video and even audio messages as well as stickers or emoticons.

LINE, originally built in response to the damaged telecommunications infrastructure in Japan after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, is a financially successful mobile instant messenger that has evolved into a social platform if its own. LINE also features a gaming platform with more than 470 million gaming app downloads as of November 2014.

Another prominent mobile messenger is WhatsApp with currently more than 900 million monthly active users. The app’s reach is particularly strong in markets outside of the United States and it is one of the most popular mobile social apps worldwide. In February 2014, social network Facebook acquired the mobile app for 19 billion U.S. dollars.
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Release date
January 2017
Region
Worldwide
Survey time period
January 26, 2017
Supplementary notes
*Registered users
All values are the last reported figures.
Skype published data in August 2013. BBM figures as of October 2014.
Viber MAU were taken from Rakuten's Q1 2015 earnings presentation from May 2015. LINE MAU were taken from Q4 2016 LINE Corp reporting.

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Statistics on "Mobile messenger apps"

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  • Leading messaging apps
  • Facebook Messenger
  • WhatsApp
  • Snapchat
  • LINE and Kakaotalk

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