- Mobile messaging apps are massive. The largest services have hundreds of millions of monthly active users (MAU). WhatsApp has ~900 million MAU and will likely surpass the 1 billion mark by the end of 2015. Moreover, messaging apps show little sign of slowing. Falling data prices, cheaper devices, and improved features are helping propel their growth.
- Messaging apps are about more than messaging. The first stage of the chat app revolution was focused on growth. In the next phase, companies will focus on building out services and monetizing chat apps' massive user bases.
- Popular Asian messaging apps like WeChat, KakaoTalk, and LINE have taken the lead in finding innovative ways to keep users engaged.
- Chat apps overindex on user retention and usage relative to the rest of the app ecosystem. In one study, messaging apps retained nearly six times the number of users compared to the average app. They are also launched nearly nine times per day on average vs. two for the average app.
- Messaging apps are more popular among younger audiences. For example, teens are ~3x more likely to use Snapchat than the average user across all age groups. This youthful bent makes messaging apps particularly desirable for brands, advertisers, and publishers looking to reach millennials.
- Media companies and marketers are still investing more time and resources into social networks like Facebook and Twitter than they are into messaging services. That will change as messaging companies build out their services and provide more avenues for connecting brands, publishers, and advertisers with users.
As the market for messaging apps matures, developers have expanded their capabilities. Users around the world are logging in to not only chat with friends but also connect with brands, browse merchandise, and watch content. What were once simple services for exchanging messages, pictures, videos, and GIFs have evolved into expansive ecosystems with their own developers, apps, and APIs.
This report will look at the size of the market, how these apps are changing, and the types of opportunities that have emerged from the growing audience that uses messaging services daily.