Those of us old enough to remember spending hours as teenagers chatting on MSN Messenger – The messaging client of the early 00s — know good and well that the messaging craze is nothing new.
What’s changed during the last decade though is that messaging apps have become so widespread and so incredibly popular that nowadays millions of people of all ages can’t imagine surviving through the day without Facebook Messenger or Viber.
The Growing Use of Messenger Apps
A year ago – in the early 2016 – mobile messaging apps were used by 1.4 billion consumers around the globe or approximately one-seventh of the world’s population! The number of users in 2016 had increased by 31.6% compared to the previous year, and it continues to grow to this day.
It is predicted that by 2018, the worldwide number of messenger app users will reach a whopping 2 billion and represent 80% of all smartphone users.
Since the day where the majority of phone owners will be using one or more messaging apps is right around the corner, we thought you might want to know more about the current top 5 mobile messaging giants — WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Line, and WeChat.
Everything You Need To Know About the 5 Biggest Messenger Apps: History and Background
Before we see which of these top 5 popular messaging apps has the highest number of users and how popular they are in different countries, let’s first get learn a little bit more about their history. As it turns out, all the world’s top five messaging apps are very close in age – with WhatsApp being the oldest, followed by Viber, WeChat, Line, and Facebook Messenger.
- WhatsApp was founded by Americans Jan Koum and Brian Acton, and released in January 2010.
- Viber was released that same year in December. Its inventor is Talmon Marco, the former chief information officer in the Israeli army.
- WeChat, China’s most popular messaging app, was invented by Zhang Xiaolong and released in January 2011.
- Line was released in March 2011 in Japan, having been developed by NHN Japan engineers as a reaction to Tohoku earthquake that had badly damaged the telecommunication infrastructure throughout Japan.
- Facebook Messenger, developed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and future head of Facebook Messaging Products David A. Marcus, was released in August 2011.
Number of Users
When it comes to the number of registered users, all 5 apps are doing mighty fine. Both WhatsApp and WeChat have over 1 billion users, Facebook Messenger has around 1 billion, Viber has more than 800 million, while Japan’s Line is at around 700 million.
As for the number of monthly active users, the figures are slightly different. WhatsApp and Facebook are used by 1 billion users each month. WeChat takes the third place with 818 million monthly active users, while Viber and Line have 249 million and 220 million, respectively.
Popularity by Countries
- WhatsApp is the number one app all around the globe: from Brazil and the rest of South America, Mexico, and India, to Russia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
- Facebook Messenger is popular in Australia, Canada, USA, England, and France.
- Viber is loved by users in Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Iraq, Libya, and Sri Lanka
- Line is number one in
- WeChat has millions of users across China, Iran, and Japan.
Want to learn more about these uber-popular messaging apps? Are you wondering how many languages are these apps available, or if they have any other cool features you didn’t know about? Then feast your eyes on this stunning infographic from skilled.co containing all the interesting stats and facts about the world’s top messaging apps!
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