Ever wondered what’s the most popular instant messaging app? Well …. of course it depends what way you measure popularity. Is it the most users, the most active users or the most messages sent daily? Then some are more popular with different age groups or in different countries!
Don’t worry …. in this article I’ll tell you all you need to know. Some of the stats will surprise you – so let’s have a look at the top instant messenger apps today.
Before we continue – have you seen my hacking section of this website? I have articles all about how these popular messenger apps can easily be hacked by anyone – starting with How to Hack a Phone.
Whatsapp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jam Koum for the sole purpose of messaging and 10 years later, Whatsapp has become one of the most popular instant messaging apps in the world with over 1.5 billion active monthly users. Whatsapp’s vast majority of users are from South Africa, the U.K, South Asia, and in the U.S.
In the United States 68 million people accessed Whatsapp in 2019 and by 2023 that number is expected to rise to around 85 million U.S users. In January of 2018 42% of U.S users were between the ages of 25 and 34 and 38% were from ages 18 to 24.
On average Whatsapp users send a total of 55 billon messages a day and 4.5 billion photos and videos a day. Whatsapp has over 300 million active daily users and 1.5 billion active monthly users. The average Whatsapp user checks the app 23 times a day.
Whatsapp was offered $10 billion in 2014 to be bought by Google but instead joined with Facebook but still remains as its own app. Whatsapp provides free messaging, video calls, voice messages and a “status” system which allows users to post a photo on their status but the video or photo disappears after 24 hours.
2. Facebook Messenger
Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerburg in 2004 with the idea of enabling people to keep in touch via photos and videos but in 2011 released Facebook messenger on android and iOS.
Since 2011 Facebook messenger has become the largest instant messaging app in the world with 2.3 billion active monthly users and the most used messaging app in the United States with 170 million users and by 2022 that number is expected to rise to 176 million users.
Despite having the most users out of all the messaging apps Facebook messenger users only send 1 billion messages a day compared to Whatsapp’s 55 billion daily messages.
On average Facebook welcomes 500 thousand new users every day. That’s 6 new profiles per second. The average Facebook user has 338 friends and spends 38 minutes per day on the app.
In the U.S 82% of 18 to 29 year olds have Facebook and 79% of 30 to 49 year old have Facebook. 54% of worldwide Facebook’s users are female.
Snapchat was founded in 2011 by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown and since has become one of the most popular social media apps and millions of their users use the messaging feature.
Snapchat has many features such as messaging, video calls, interactive games to play with and against friends and a “story” feature which is similar to Whatsapp’s “status.” Snapchat also has an optional “snapmaps” that allows you to share your location with friends.
One of the biggest attractions to Snapchat for teens is the “streaks” feature. If you and your friend send each other one photo a day a streak will form. This number will appear beside that person’s name and the goal is to get your streak as high as possible without losing it.
This feature can be used by everyone although it is most popular among teens.
Snapchat has over 190 million daily users, 84 million of which are situated in the U.S. In the U.S, 90% of 13-24 year olds have Snapchat with the average user age of 16. Snapchat users send 3.5 billion snaps a day, making it one of the most used instant messaging apps. Over 50% of users are under the age of 25 and the average user spends 30 minutes a day on the app.
Instagram was founded in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger but in 2012 was bought by Facebook for $1 billion.
Instagram offers free messaging that they call “direct messaging,” video calls, audio messages and group chats with up to 15 people which allows users to keep in touch for free from most countries in the world. On Instagram you can post photos or videos of anything you want as longs as it is within Instagram’s guidelines.
Your followers can comment on these posts which is another form of communication on Instagram. Instagram also has the same “story” feature but Instagram stories have “stickers” that display thing such as your location, the temperature or interactive stickers. These interactive stickers include polls that your followers vote on, people can ask you questions and quizzes.
Instagram has over 1 billion active monthly users with 110 million of those users in the U.S. More than 95 million photos and videos get posted to Instagram every day and although most people use Instagram for posting and stories many of the users use the direct message feature daily to keep in touch with friend or family members.
Out of the 110 million U.S users nearly a third and between 25 and 34 and the average user spends 27 minutes on the app.
Other Popular Instant Messaging Apps
WeChat is the instant messaging app that most Chinese citizens use but can also be used as a form of digital payment. Although WeChat is mainly used in China there are 2.4 million U.S WeChat users.
WeChat has over 1 billion active monthly users and over 45 billion messages are sent daily. The average WeChat users spends 66 minutes every day on the app and 60% of users check the app more than 10 times a day.
Viber is used in countries such as Armenia, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan but is mainly used in Ukraine. Viber is used for secret messaging and encryption but has over 260 million active monthly users. There are 7 million interactions on Viber each minute. Russian users have had many complaints about the app that include issues such as bad connection and message delivery.
LINE is the most popular instant messaging app in Thailand and Japan with 203 million total active monthly users Japan has 85 million and Thailand has 32 million LINE users. Line offers free messaging, voice and video calls as well as stickers and games.
There we have it – I told you some of these statistics would surprise you! If we go by messages sent alone then WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app today.
Facebook has the most users but look out for Snapchat and Instagram as they are growing fast especially amongst younger users.
It’s not all about the USA either – WeChat is taking China by storm and that is a lot of people!
Remember too that these messenger apps can come and go over time. What is popular today can be gone in a few years – and new ones can take their place. I wonder what the next big thing will be?