Fascinating Facts about The 5 Biggest Messaging Apps
Do you remember AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger? The fledgling online world of the late 90s and early 2000s was dominated by the concept of ‘instant messaging’ and chat rooms, which allowed people from all around the world to communicate by tapping away on their keyboards via desktop programs and websites.
In 2017, the public is still fascinated with messaging each other, but with the rise of mobile apps and other technologies; the core function has been expanded by several popular platforms. It’s no longer just about messaging.
The 5 Most Popular Apps
You might think that Facebook leads the pack with its in-browser and mobile messenger app, but in terms of registered users China’s WeChat has the edge with 1.1 billion compared to Facebook’s 1 billion. Interestingly, the Chinese app is not that popular outside of its home region, but the massive population has ensured its place at the top of the leader board.
WhatsApp also has over 1 billion users, though these are mostly from the United States and Europe.
Other popular messaging apps include the Israeli developed Viber, which has over 800 million users, and Japan’s Line app with 700 million uses.
This and lots of other interesting data is compared in Skilled.co’s new ‘5 biggest messenger apps’ infographic. Did you know by next year 80% of people with a smartphone will be a regular user of at least one popular messaging app?
Instant messaging has been a hit since it first launched, and for good reason. It allows users to communicate in real time at no extra cost. Traditionally, this gave it a big advantage over SMS text messaging when connected to the internet. Remember having to pay for each text?
Today it still has its advantages, but they go way beyond the cost benefit. The competitive marketplace has forced developers to include extra features like sending money, gaming, taking and editing photos, and much more.
Below we dig a little deeper on to just some of the modern features that are making the big 5 messaging apps stand above the rest …
WhatsApp was launched in 2009 and quickly took the smartphone world by storm. It was acquired by Facebook in 2014, technically making Mark Zuckerberg’s collective messaging user-base the largest. The app allows 256 users in a group chat (more than any other), and its camera features allow users to draw and edit video, and overlay emojis and other graphics.
Everyone knows Facebook Messenger, but did you know in the United States they have rolled out the ability for users to pay their contacts within the app? There is no extra fee to do this and payment information is secured with smartphone fingerprint functionality. While you can’t maintain your own digital wallet, it’s easy to add multiple payment cards to the platform and making a transaction is as easy as a few taps of the screen.
Israel’s Viber is great because you can integrate the app throughout Google Chrome. Other popular features include finding and sharing your current location, doodling on photos, and the ability to hide your online status and read receipts – something Facebook Messenger users have been crying out for.
Japan’s Line app is one of the most advanced messenger apps on the market, despite being the least popular of the big 5. It is well developed; saving users a lot of data compared to the other apps (this is most pronounced with voice calls). You can also send money to contacts similar to Facebook, and even book taxis based on your current location.
China’s WeChat has also embraced the concept of booking services, including taxis and buses, doctor’s appointments, and you can now even pay common household bills like energy and internet services!
One fun little feature that isn’t found elsewhere is the ability to connect with other random WeChat users just by shaking your device. This is great if you’re bored or lonely.
To learn more about the 5 biggest messaging apps, their growth and usage stats, unique features, and much more – be sure to check out the full infographic from Skilled.co today!
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