Over the weekend, WhatsApp suffered a massive outage. The blockbuster messaging app, for which Facebook paid $US19 billion last week, was out for several hours on Feb. 22.
As WhatsApp sputtered, it fell behind competitors in some of the world’s most important messaging markets — Spain and Germany.
WhatsApp’s vulnerability in Europe helps bring into focus just how competitive the messaging market has become, according to new analysis from BI Intelligence. A stumble like a service outage can have serious consequences. Here are the key facts:
- Between Feb. 22 and Feb. 23, Japan-based messaging app LINE shot up from 36th place in Spain’s iPhone App Store, to third place. WhatsApp, which was in fifth place on February 21st, had dropped to 19th place by February 23. WhatsApp held its advantage in Spain’s Google Play store, but LINE climbed from ninth to fourth place. Spanish media is reporting that LINE gained 2 million new users in Spain while WhatsApp was out of commission.
- Though LINE’s climb has been more gradual in Germany’s iPhone App Store, and so doesn’t seem as directly connected to the outage, it is now in fourth place, outranking WhatsApp in that market, according to App Annie.
- LINE has also shot up in Belgium, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands, hitting its historical best iPhone App Store rank in those countries on Feb. 23 or Feb. 24. But in none of those countries did it break the top 100.
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