Number of mobile phone messaging app users increases 15.5% in 2017

Mobile messaging apps have proven to be particularly appealing to consumers worldwide. Indeed, messaging apps may be the most successful smartphone apps with the number of WhatsApp messages sent per day now exceeding standard text messages.

Now, eMarketer has released new projections on the growth of messaging services. According to the latest estimates, it predicts that 1.82 billion mobile device owners worldwide will be using apps such as Facebook Messenger or WeChat in 2017 – a rise of 15.5% the year over.

That means an additional 243 million mobile Internet users worldwide will begin to use messaging apps in 2017.  That growth is wide-spread, across all of the 22 countries which were measured in this analysis.

Cathy Boyle, principal analyst at eMarketer and author of the report says that mobile messaging apps offers “private one-to-one or one-to-many communication between registered users, via a mobile phone number or user ID. Its messages and calls – voice or video – are then transmitted via data connections and the mobile web.”

Most of the new users (63%) to mobile messaging will come from China, India, the US, Indonesia and Brazil. These countries also represent the highest number of messaging app users in total.

The rise of such apps has been staggering with a majority of mobile device users in APAC, LatAm, Europe and North America now using such apps, whilst just four years ago that was not the case in Central and Eastern Europe and North America.

However, in the Middle East and Africa mobile messaging users are still in the minority with just 22.7% of mobile phone internet users expected to use such apps this year – up from 16.3% in 2014.