In a recent survey conducted by On Device Research, in which they took polls in four countries in different regions of the world, it’s clear that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) continues to dominate online messaging in the United States, but the rest of the connected world prefers WeChat and WhatsApp.
WeChat, the Chinese homegrown app, not surprisingly dominates the Chinese market. Of those polled, 97% use WeChat on a weekly basis. Of course, WeChat does not face competition from Facebook Messenger in China, where Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been essentially banned for years. Never fear for Facebook; it’s firmly entrenched in the second position in two other counties in the study when it comes to weekly use, South Africa and Brazil.
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WhatsApp’s dominance, Facebook lagging
All that said, when you look at the five regions polled, WhatsApp is the clear winner with 44% of those surveyed using it each week compared to just 37% using Facebook Messenger despite its recent makeover. While Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is dominating in the United States, it’s losing traction to WhatsApp in the 16-24 demographic that seem to be shifting more and more towards the app that most Europeans prefer, WhatsApp. Additionally, Facebook’s Messenger is lagging behind Snapchat in photo sharing by a large margin with over 400 million photos being shared over the upstart’s servers each day. In fact, the study shows 20% of that age group using Snapchat on a weekly basis.
It’s important to note that weekly use is become less dynamic as a metric. Smartphone users don’t generally feel compelled to use a single messaging application. 58% of those surveyed said that multiple apps were “necessary” while 52% said they use multiple apps to enjoy a full range of features. The average smartphone owner in Indonesia has 4.2 messaging apps on their phone compared to half that number in the United States where the users polled have an average of 2.1 installed on their phones.
Lastly, the poll found that BBM is enjoying immediate take-up by users of Android and iOS. The app was just released in September but can already call itself the the second and third most popular messaging apps in Indonesia and South Africa respectively while gaining in the other markets studied by On Device.