WhatsApp overtakes Facebook in messaging, BBM on iOS and Android gains traction in Indonesia

WhatsApp has managed to gain a larger mobile messaging marketshare across five major markets than Facebook, while BlackBerry messenger has gained significant traction in Indonesia and South Africa, according to a new survey.

The On Device survey polled 3759 iOS and Android smartphone owners across the US, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and China about their use of instant messaging apps.

It’s important to note the survey did not poll BlackBerry or Windows Phone users, and the BBM figures do not include BlackBerry smartphone owners.

When asked which mobile messaging app they used weekly, 44% of respondents nominated WhatsApp, ahead of Facebook Messenger (35%), WeChat (28%), Twitter (19%), BBM (17%) and Skype (16%).

However, there are huge differences between countries in terms of mobile messaging app use.

The survey found that 37% of Indonesian smartphone users and 34% of South African smartphone owners use BBM weekly, compared to a global average of 17% and just 13% in the US. 

Likewise, WeChat has managed 93% penetration in China, a more modest 20% in Indonesia and 18% in South Africa, with a global average of 28% but just 6% in the US.

The survey also shows that mobile messaging is becoming an increasingly popular use of mobile phones.

Across five countries, the survey found 63% of users use a mobile messaging app more than 10 times per day, 17% use one two to three times, and 6% use one around once per day.

This compares to 31% making 10 or more voice calls per day, 33% making two or three calls each day, and 9% making around one phone call a day.

Mobile messaging is also more popular than SMS text messaging, which has 40% of participants spending 10 per day, and email, with 24% sending 10 or more per day.


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