Depending on your generation, you may - or may not - be aware of the explosive use of mobile messenger platforms. With the global adoption of mobile smartphones and devices, you need to understand that conventional phone service... making a phone call... is being used less and less. From its ashes arise the messenger app, a cheaper and more feature-rich interface, which is ushering in a new chapter of human communication. Whether or not you will ever become a user, it is important for you to know about this phenomenon as it might affect your own business' mobile optimization.
Within the market of these apps, there are many that serve various, more specialized, services. However, the top three are clear industry leaders with the lion share of the market. Let’s compare data from the company, Playmobi, as to how these platforms compare to each other and how widely used they are in our modern, mobile heavy, societies.
WhatsApp, the cross-platform instant messaging system, has been connecting people through the Internet for 8 years. Founded in 2009, by Jam Koum and Brian Acton, Whatsapp is considered one of the first messenger platforms to be available to the public. Facebook purchased Whatsapp in 2014 for a whopping 19 billion dollars, and at the time it was the largest purchase of a venture-backed company in history. Though the messenger service shares a corporate structure with its biggest competitor, Facebook Messenger, the service boasts strong usership on its own. 1.2 Billion people use the service and over 1 million new registered accounts are created every day. Furthermore, 42 billion messages are sent every 24 hours and 1.6 billion pictures or images are sent daily through the service. In terms of voice calls, the Whatsapp platform facilitates 100 million calls per day, and 55 million video calls where the parties can see each other using the cameras on their mobile devices.
Facebook Messenger originally released as “Facebook Chat” in 2008, was re-launched as FB Messenger in 2011. The platform boasts a 1.2 billion global usership as of April 2017. In terms of daily usership, 38 billion people per day use FB Messenger to communicate. Furthermore, 66 million messages are sent daily, along with 561 thousand photos and images. In terms of voice calls, FB messenger handles 13.3 million audio and video calls per 24-hour period.
The final player in the top 3 messaging mobile platforms is Line. Initially released in March 2011, Line was originally used for disaster response to the Tohuku earthquake. The damage from the earthquake effected Japan's telecommunications infrastructure, and the Korean based company, Naver Corporation, developed the app to facilitate rescue efforts during the crisis. Since those humble beginnings, Line has grown to have a usership of well over 700 million, globally. The majority of Line’s users are from the Asia-Pacific, where it was first launched. In terms of daily usership, Line has 10 million active users per day. Furthermore, Line users contribute 1.4 billion swipes on the Line interface per 24-hour period.
When it comes to communicating through existing Internet connections via messaging apps on mobile, these three platforms are the key leaders in the global instant messaging industry. Other platforms have grown in recent years, especially in the emerging markets of Asia and Africa, including Viber and Wechat, but they continue to be well-behind the phenomenal usership of Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or Line!
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