Earlier this year Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced hitting one billion active global users. India had accounted for 100 million users, making it one of the top markets for WhatsApp. According to a report from Jana, WhatsApp is now installed on 95 per cent of the smartphones in India. The report further says that WhatsApp has higher penetration than Facebook’s Messenger application and the Indian messaging app Hike.
According to the report, WhatsApp is running on 1.7 times more smartphones than Facebook Messenger and 2.3-times more than the Hike messenger. Jana further points out that WhatsApp’s penetration has grown to 95 per cent from 81 per cent in last six months. Besides India, WhatsApp has seen tremendous growth in Brazil where the penetration has grown from 87 per cent to 94 per cent. According to the report, 100 per cent of daily active users in India and 99 per cent of daily active users in Brazil use messaging apps.
Looking at the report, WhatsApp is clearly the biggest instant messaging app in India and the world. But Facebook’s Messenger is also catching up with WhatsApp. Facebook in April this year announced that its Messenger had gone past 900 million monthly active users. After converting Messenger into a platform, Facebook has added tonnes of new features into the messaging app.
The Facebook Messenger offers location sharing option, chat bots, eCommerce privileges, video calling features among others. The Messenger is also integrating SMS service in the app for Android users. Facebook also revamped the interface of the Messenger home screen for iOS users recently by making it more organised and easy to use.
WhatApp, on the other hand, has remained the conventional instant messaging app with not so many significant updates other than voice calls and improved sharing features. There are rumors of the app adding video calling support as well.
Both owned by Facebook, it will be interesting to see which of the two apps take over the instant messaging space in the near future.