Mobile messenger apps - Statistics & Facts

Mobile messenger apps - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts about mobile messenger app usage

Fueled by mobile internet and smartphone growth, mobile messaging apps have become a strong force in the mobile app sector, offering users an alternative to SMS-based texting paired with social media elements and enhanced features such as group chats and photo sharing. About 75 percent of internet users worldwide had accessed messaging services on mobile devices as of 2015. Just over half of mobile users – both Android and iOS users – use messaging apps on a monthly basis. Due to the strong social aspect of mobile messengers, the average retention rate of messaging apps is approximately double the rate of all other mobile apps. Throughout the first year of usage, messaging apps have had a consistent retention rate of over sixty percent.


Based on number of monthly active users, WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messaging apps in the world. Facebook Messenger ranked second, followed by Chinese services QQ Mobile and WeChat. Other popular messaging apps include Skype, Viber, LINE, BBM, Telegram and Kakaotalk. Facebook owns the top 2 mobile messaging apps – WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The social media giant acquired WhatsApp in early 2014, when the mobile messaging app had only about 465 monthly active users. As of early 2016, there were one billion monthly active WhatsApp users in the world. WhatsApp is particularly popular in Latin America, Middle East and Africa, where the app’s penetration rate stood at more than 60 percent.

Initially released in 2011, Facebook Messenger, an app purely dedicated to chatting, was developed to take over the instant messaging function previously connected to the main Facebook app. As of June 2016, there were one billion monthly active users on the app. The number of monthly active users in the app has been consistently growing over the years. In 2014, for instance, the service had 200 million monthly active users only. Facebook Messenger’s popularity can be traced back to the ubiquity of its parent company Facebook. As of the third quarter of 2016, the social network had close to 1.8 billion monthly active users worldwide.

Despite WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger’s global leadership, regional markets differ greatly, with the notable mention of the Asian mobile messenger app market. Local messaging apps such as WeChat, LINE, Hike and KakaoTalk are continuously expanding and competing for leadership. As of late 2016, Chinese WeChat was the leading mobile messaging app in Asia, with 846 million monthly active users. Japanese LINE ranked second, followed by Hike and KakaoTalk.

Mobile messaging apps are blurring the lines between messaging and mobile social networks. Photo-sharing apps Instagram and Snapchat are no pure messaging platforms; yet, due to their private messaging functions and the increasing appeal of social content sharing, the platforms have seen unprecedented growth in the last few years. The number of daily active Snapchat users increased from 50 million in March 2014 to 150 million in June 2016; Instagram had 500 million active users as of June 2016, up from 200 million in March 2014.



Picture: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype

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