independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

WhatsApp 'overtakes Facebook as leading mobile messaging service'

WhatsApp has overtaken Facebook as the leading social messaging service on mobile, according to a report.

A survey of nearly 4,000 smartphone users in five countries found that 44 per cent use WhatsApp at least once a week, whereas just 35pc use Facebook messenger.

The research by On Device also found that Snapchat’s largest source of users are 16 to 24-year-olds in the US; the same group which research has suggested is leaving Facebook.

The report also confirmed that social messaging apps – including WeChat, Twitter, BBM and Skype – are the dominant way in which people communicate on their phone.

It found that 86pc use social messaging daily, while 73pc use their phones for voice calls, 75pc use SMS messages, and 60pc use email.

The study was based on the response of 3,759 smartphone users in the US, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and China, between October 25 and November 10 of this year.

In April, WhatsApp’s chief executive Jan Koum claimed that the service now has more users than Twitter and carries more messages than Facebook.

He said WhatsApp carries as many as 20 billion messages per day, double Facebook’s daily message traffic.

Koum said WhatsApp, based in Silicon Valley, will not follow Facebook and Twitter in carrying advertising, and will continue to charge a 99-cent annual subscription on Android and other smartphone operating systems.

“We do have a manifesto opposing advertising. We’re so bombarded with ads so much in our daily lives and we felt that smartphones aren’t the place for that. Our phones are so intimately connected to us, to our lives.”

In August WhatsApp, which is used by 300 million people worldwide every month, launched an update to offer voice messaging services.

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