Messaging is a key component of the mobile experience for users – in the past, that was SMS. Now, it is some form of messaging application, often associated with a social network. And messaging is no longer just text – it's audio, video, and live streaming.
Facebook just announced that WhatsApp has crossed 2B users, illustrating not only the reach of Facebook, but also how WhatsApp is distancing itself from the competition. It would then stand to reason that WhatsApp would be the top messaging application, right?
But, there is always a catch with applications and subscriber counts for the Internet Phenomena reports. Last year, for example, Snapchat was a huge factor in the Mobile Report, but has an order of magnitude fewer monthly users than WhatsApp – which is a testament to how much the user base shares and consumes in the app. So, what you can get with the Phenomena data is a clear picture of how each application is succeeding in engaging with users (making a general assumption that the volume used for calls and video are within shouting distance for each application – which is not always the case).
So, how did WhatsApp show this year in the Phenomena Report?
It clocks in at #9 overall (right ahead of Snapchat!).
It is also over 40% of all messaging traffic on mobile, which shows that the subscriber base is engaged with the application and it continues to grow in importance to consumers.
Just a word about Snapchat – the fan base of that application continues to amaze – with only 360M monthly users, it was right behind WhatsApp at #10, with a little over 2% of all mobile traffic. That is engagement!
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Cam is the Vice President of Global Marketing at Sandvine and responsible for Sandvine's overall global marketing. He is an avid follower of and the author of the Global Internet Phenomena Report on network trends. He also loves football (the real kind played with a round ball) as well as an active blogger for Sandvine on a wide range of technology and business issues. Areas of expertise: internet trends, virtualization, analytics, network optimization, enterprise services