Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) may be the world leader in social networking. But WhatsApp beats it in mobile social messaging service, according to a study conducted by On Device Research. About 4,000 smartphone users from five countries participated in the survey. On Device reports that 44% of participants used WhatsApp at least once a week. In contrast, only 35% of respondents used Facebook messenger at least once a week.
Facebook losing traction among teens
The study also found that mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat and BBM are even more popular than the traditional calls and texts. Only 60% respondents used emails, 75% used SMS texts and 73% used voice calls daily. But a whopping 86% said they used social messaging apps daily. WhatsApp is particularly strong outside the United States. In April, its CEO Jan Koum claimed that WhatsApp has more users than Twitter Inc. and it carries 25 billion messages a day.
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WhatsApp is increasingly replacing Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) as a group function of choice among teens. School friends, extended families are creating groups to mass text to a small group. It’s no longer seen just as a traditional messaging app. People are using it to share pictures and status updates, which has been the forte of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). Parents are also happy to let their teens use WhatsApp because it eliminates several personal safety concerns related to personal details that users have to share on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).
WhatsApp and advertising
Another thing attracting users to WhatsApp is that it doesn’t carry advertising like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). Jan Koum says that people are heavily bombarded with ads in their daily lives. Smartphone isn’t a place for ads, says Koum. WhatsApp received only $8 million in venture funding, and has only 50 employees. But the company has reportedly received $1 billion offer from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). According to reports, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) was also in race to acquire WhatsApp.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares were little changed at $47 in pre-market trading Monday.