The size and importance of messaging apps becomes clear once we compare them side-by-side with traditional social networks. It’s important for marketers, digital publishers, and anyone involved in mobile media to understand that messaging is the audience platform of the future.
In our second quarter report on the mobile messaging industry, BI Intelligence charted the growth in users of four major messaging apps (WeChat, WhatsApp, LINE, and Facebook Messenger), and four global social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn).
The report takes a deep, granular dive into the messaging market and includes an exploration of possible monetization paths for mobile apps.
Here are some of our other findings in the report:
- Between March 2013 and March 2014, the messaging app market exploded. The top seven messaging apps expanded by 148%, adding 900 million users.
- WhatsApp blew past all the messaging app competition in mid-2013 and never looked back. By February of this year, WhatsApp already had 100 million more monthly active users than its nearest competitor, China-based WeChat.
- Facebook Messenger is still a laggard. It is several times smaller than the top three messaging apps. Despite its global footprint and deep integration with Facebook, it’s smaller than Japan-based LINE, which is most popular in East and Southeast Asia and a handful of other countries.
- Snapchat is huge. The photo- and video-centric app, which only recently incorporated video calls, is running neck-and-neck with messaging and voice calling app, Tango.
In full, the report:
- Publishes full MAU numbers on WhatsApp, WeChat, LINE, Snapchat, Viber, Facebook Messenger, and Tango
- Includes a case study on LINE, and how it has built multiple revenue streams — it’s not just dependent on stickers
- Discusses why payments might be a huge opportunity for Facebook’s WhatsApp
- Explains why no other category has grown as quickly in the last few years
- Compares engagement numbers, in terms of app sessions and minutes-spent, for each of the leading messaging services
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