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Old 24. Mar 2014, 04:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Popular Instant Messaging Apps

According to the infographic unveiled by KRDS Social Media Agency, it's estimated that mobile operators have lost $23 billion in 2012 only because teens have sent less SMS and preferred to communicate with their friends using Instant Messaging Apps.

This table shows the popular Instant Messaging Apps with their users published during the year 2013 following the same source, and the existing number of installs according to Google's Play Store pages.

No.AppsUsersRemarksInstalls
1WeChat600 million registered usersoriginates from China100-500m
2WhatsApp590 million registered usersoriginates from USA100-500m
3Facebook Messenger300-550 million registered usersmost popular in USA100-500m
4Line300 million registered usersoriginates from Japan100-500m
5Viber200 million registered usersoriginates from Israel100-500m
6Snapchat100 million registered usersoriginates from USA50-100m
7KakaoTalk100 million registered usersoriginates from South Korea100-500m
8ChatON100 million registered userspreinstalled in Samsung devices100-500m
9QQ478 million mobile usersoriginates from China5-10m
10Skype299 million connected usersacquired by Microsoft in 2011100-500m

See also Telegram - Free Mobile App of the Week, reviewed by IO.Hazard. This app has some unique features and achieved 10-50m installs, higher than the QQ app from the above table.

Going forward, it's possible that some apps may grow faster than others depending on users' preference.

Share with us what's your preferred instant messaging apps for your mobile devices.
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Old 24. Mar 2014, 05:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have WhatsApp on my phone, and most of my friends have it, and it's quite popular here in India, and therefore it's my main app for messaging.

I have used WeChat before, and it has good features too, but very few of my friends use it. Also, it's a bit heavy on the phone. If you want to find new people to chat with, then WeChat is good in that respect.. it shows you people using WeChat around your area, and also there is a shake feature which shows people using that feature currently. You can even use video chat with WeChat. However, as very few friends used it, I had to uninstall it.

Surprisingly Kik is not in the list. Kik is also quite a popular app in some countries, and is specially popular with the younger generation. I have it on my phone, although only two of my friends use it, but they are from outside India, and therefore I have it on my phone just to keep in touch with them. I like Kik. It is simple and has a good interface.

I had tried Viber too, but I didn't keep it long on my phone. Again, very few friends used it, and also, I have a problem with my network which interferes with proper audio or video communication. Since Viber is used mainly for audio chat, and that wasn't working so well, I had to uninstall it. Viber has a desktop version too, which they developed recently. So, in that respect it's good. It can be a good Skype alternative.

I never used Facebook Messenger, and don't have any intention of using it either. I had the Facebook app previously on my phone, and it was a resource hog. Even when I was signed out, it remained in memory, and kept coming back even after repeated killing. I have no interest in Facebook on my phone therefore.

I like Telegram, and it is open source and with regards to privacy it's good. I had installed it on my phone after reading IO.Hazard's article. But again, none of my friends use it, and also, for my low end phone with 512 MB RAM with Gingerbread, it's a bit too much to keep. So, I uninstalled it today.
I would like to see Telegram get more popular. However, I do hope they change the interface, because it looks like WhatsApp presently.
I do think that Telegram should rise in popularity slowly, mainly because of it being open source, free without ads, and also in terms of security and privacy, it's quite good, which is an important thing nowadays.
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Old 24. Mar 2014, 08:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Messaging apps are among the most downloaded app in the PlayStore. While some of them them are limited to text and image sharing, there are other that an be considered communication suites because, in addition to messages, they provide free voice and video calls to users who installed the same app, file sharing and notifications even when you are offline; interestingly, the "only for mobile" restriction is fading as some apps have desktop versions for different OSes besides the mobile ones.

Anupam hit the nail in the head when he said that the main cause of installing and app (and keep it installed) is popularity. You install two or three apps and check how many friends are using each one, then you choose the one that has the most of your contacts and uninstall the others, unless, of course, that you have the space and system resources to keep more than one installed.

There is the mobile data usage aspect too, if you have a lot of communication apps installed, your traffic will increase and your mobile data plan will run out faster, so it is good idea to check that on a daily basis.

As for the apps themselves, I think Tango is another app that the guys a KRDS Social Media Agency forgot to include. It is within the 100m to 500m downloads now and is hugely popular among those who prefer video calls (myself included ). The problem with Tango is that it takes a big amount of storage (45MB once installed) and its background process takes about 35MB of RAM .

I liked Viber a lot, the voice call quality was close to perfection with WiFi and worked fine with the mobile data (it used about 360KB or so per minute). It had some security flaws at the time but most of them seem to have been fixed. I ended uninstalling it, though, because most of my friends didn't have their mobile data enabled all the time so they missed my messages and calls.

Besides Tango, I currently have WhatsApp and Telegram installed. I'm not a Facebook fan because of its privacy policy, so I got concerned when it acquired WhatsApp and it looks like the Germans though the same.

Let's hope users get more conscious about security and privacy and more open-source communication apps emerge.
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Old 24. Mar 2014, 08:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh yes, Tango. Tango is not on that list too, surprisingly. I think it's one of the popular apps too. I had used Tango on my phone too. But, I really wasn't impressed by it much. I don't remember what was the reason... I think maybe the interface, voice quality too, and also resource usage perhaps. Really don't remember but it was out of my phone soon.

Good point about WhatsApp being bought by Facebook. I had forgot about that. Yes, the recent acquisition does raise concerns about privacy, since Facebook is not very good with privacy themselves, like Google. Still, I don't think many users care much about it... they just keep using the app because it's popular and that many friends of theirs are using it. I do wish that my friends would switch to something else.

It's not clear yet what direction WhatsApp will take, or about its price and all too. WhatsApp has been quite strange in terms of pricing. While it says that it will be free for first year of usage, it hasn't cost me money yet, because they keep pushing the time forward by one year when it gets close to expiring. I find that quite strange. I also heard that friends of some of my friends even got lifetime license somehow, with no idea how they got it.
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Old 25. Mar 2014, 05:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam View Post
I have used WeChat before, and it has good features too, but very few of my friends use it. Also, it's a bit heavy on the phone. If you want to find new people to chat with, then WeChat is good in that respect.. it shows you people using WeChat around your area, and also there is a shake feature which shows people using that feature currently. You can even use video chat with WeChat. However, as very few friends used it, I had to uninstall it.
Currently I have two installed and been using them. I use WeChat as primary and WhatsApp as a backup to those who don't use WeChat.
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Old 25. Mar 2014, 06:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IO.Hazard View Post
As for the apps themselves, I think Tango is another app that the guys a KRDS Social Media Agency forgot to include. It is within the 100m to 500m downloads now and is hugely popular among those who prefer video calls (myself included ). The problem with Tango is that it takes a big amount of storage (45MB once installed) and its background process takes about 35MB of RAM .
Hmmm, Tango seems to have missed out from their list.

Here I've compiled a table listing top instant messaging apps with more than 10 million installs from the Play Store, in no particular order for same number of installs. Add more to the table if any others are missed out.

No.AppsInstallsRemarks
1WeChat100-500moriginates from China
2WhatsApp100-500moriginates from USA
3Facebook Messenger100-500mmost popular in USA
4Line100-500moriginates from Japan
5Viber100-500moriginates from Israel
6Tango100-500moriginates from USA
7KakaoTalk100-500moriginates from South Korea
8ChatON100-500mpreinstalled in Samsung devices
9Skype100-500macquired by Microsoft in 2011
10Hangouts100-500mreplacing Google Talk
11Snapchat50-100mpreviously offered $3 billion by Facebook as reported
12Kik Messenger50-100m 
13Telegram10-50m 
14eBuddy Messenger10-50m 
15Yahoo Messenger10-50m 
16Nimbuzz10-50m 
17mypeople10-50m 
18textPlus10-50m 
19Voxer10-50m 
20Keek10-50m 
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Old 01. Apr 2018, 01:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow! Am i ever late in the game!
Never heard of Telegram before.
Looks like they'll be around for a while.
It appears that they are presently located in Dubai (but able to move if need be).
https://telegram.org/faq
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Old 01. Apr 2018, 08:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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In South Africa WhatsApp is the most popular. Strangely enough, even the Facebook users prefer WhatsApp to Facebook Messenger.

According to Statista, WhatsApp had 1.3 billion users as of January 2018.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/...essenger-apps/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jojo Yee View Post
According to the infographic unveiled by KRDS Social Media Agency, it's estimated that mobile operators have lost $23 billion in 2012 only because teens have sent less SMS and preferred to communicate with their friends using Instant Messaging Apps.
They don't say how much they have gained because users need to purchase data to use Instant Messaging Apps...

Last edited by EldonW; 01. Apr 2018 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Added info.
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