Facebook spent around $US22 billion to buy WhatsApp in February. It even offered at least $US3 billion to acquire Snapchat, even though CEO Evan Spiegel turned it down. So why are messaging apps such a big deal, anyway?
Here’s why: Based on Experian data charted for us by BI Intelligence, the average smartphone owner spends roughly an hour (58 minutes, to be precise) on their phone each day, but more than half of that time (55%) is spent communicating in one way or another: talking (26%), texting (20%), and emailing (9%). Many messaging apps are hoping to bundle all of these services into one neat package, in hopes that people don’t have to leave their app to communicate in the way that best suits them. Money follows eyeballs, after all.