Text, Don’t Call: Messaging Apps Statistics for 2023
Updated: September 12,2023
Chances are your phone has already vibrated a few times since you started reading this article. Messaging apps statistics also tell us there’s a huge chance that some of those messages came to your phone through an app owned by Facebook.
Corporate consolidation in the tech sector is particularly evident in the messaging market, especially when we look at the messaging apps market share. Facebook now owns both Messenger and WhatsApp, the two largest messaging platforms in the world.
And these apps show no signs of stopping, with WhatsApp and Messenger boasting a 30% year-over-year growth. They are also outpacing social networks in both growth and popularity, representing a field where monetization is yet to reach its full potential.
Read on to discover more interesting messaging apps stats about the global market and its largest players.
General Messaging Apps Stats
1. Around 2.9 billion people now use Messenger and WhatsApp.
We’re witnessing a massive consolidation process in the tech sector. More and more services and platforms are coming under one roof. Facebook is currently one of those tech giants - it owns Instagram and WhatsApp in addition to Facebook Messenger. The world’s most popular messaging apps statistics show that across all of their services, Facebook has 2.8 billion active users.
2. 41 million messages are sent out every minute.
We are living in the era of hyper-communication. Statista’s Mobile messaging apps statistics from 2019 tell us that 41 million messages are sent out every minute. It’s no wonder messaging apps are growing at such a rapid speed.
3. By 2020, the average revenue from messaging apps is expected to surpass $15 per user.
(The Wall Street Journal)
It was announced this year that adds will start appearing in many messaging apps, including WhatsApp. This move is an effort to capitalize on this huge, mostly untapped, market. The Wall Street Journal research predicts that by 2020, the average revenue generated per user through messaging apps will be more than $15. The Chinese competitor WeChat is expected to generate $15.64 ,while Facebook is estimated to earn around $5 per user.
4. Messaging apps have 20% more active monthly users than social networks.
Messaging apps have surpassed social networks in popularity and usage. Messaging apps users statistics from the Business Insider Messaging Apps Report tell us that these apps now have 20% more active monthly users than social networks. While many people choose to not have a social-media presence, it’s much harder to opt out of communication apps and platforms that everyone around us relies on.
5. Users spent 685 billion hours on Social and Messaging apps during 2018.
App Annie’s 2019 report on mobile messaging apps statistics shows that during 2018, global users spent 685 billion hours on Social and Messaging apps. This is a 35% jump from 2016 and today, around half of our time spent on mobile is devoted to these apps.
6. 2.52 billion people use messaging apps on mobile. This number is expected to reach 3 billion in 2022.
There are two things that every article is telling us these days: the internet has changed everything and everyone is switching to mobile. It will come as no surprise then that online messaging apps are going to have almost 20% more users three years from now. Messaging apps usage statistics presented by Statista show that there are currently 2.52 billion people using mobile messaging apps. In 2020, that number will be 3 billion.
7. The number of messages sent via SMS in the United States is declining.
In the past, SMS was the main way to communicate instantly and on the go. Now, with the development of many free alternatives, SMS messaging is slowly diminishing. According to Statista, the number of SMS messages sent in the United States peaked in 2011. During that year, 2.3 trillion SMS messages were sent. In the following years, the popularity of SMS has dwindled, and was at 1.6 trillion in 2016.
8. 36% of messaging app users have at least two apps installed
(The Wall Street Journal)
Mark uses WhatsApp, Jane’s on Viber and that shady friend from highschool only uses Telegram messenger for some reason. Now, you need to download all three of these in order to keep in touch. Statistics on messaging apps from 2017 indicate that more than a third (36%) of messaging app users have at least two apps installed - 20% use two apps, while 16% use three or more.
9. WhatsApp currently has 1.6 billion users, Messenger is at 1.3 billion and WeChat recently crossed the 1 billion threshold.
Popular messaging apps statistics show that WhatsApp and Messenger, both owned by Facebook, are the most popular messaging apps in the world. According to Statista data from 2019, WhatsApp has 1.6 billion users, while Messenger has 1.3. WeChat has the third spot with 1.12 billion users.
10. If you own a smartphone, there is a 3 in 4 chance that you have a messaging app installed.
(The Wall Street Journal)
Messaging apps are a crucial part of our everyday lives. They’ve become one of the most dominant ways we communicate. Text, don’t call. According to 2017 social messaging apps statistics gathered by the Wall Street Journal, if you own a smartphone, there is a 3 in 4 chance you’ll have one or more messaging apps installed on it.
11. With 107.87 million users, Messenger is by far the most popular messaging app in the USA.
One of the few markets where WhatsApp is not the most used messaging app is its home market - the United States. In America, Facebook Messenger is in the lead with 107.87 million monthly active users. Statistics on the most popular messaging apps in the USA show that the number of Messenger users more than doubles Snapchat’s 48.91 million users. WhatsApp has two times less than that - 24.35 million monthly active users.
Facebook Messenger Statistics
12. Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion monthly active users in 2019.
Messenger is the second most popular messaging app in the world. When we look at the 2019 Statista Facebook users data, this app now has 1.3 billion monthly active users.
13. Every day, there were 260 million new conversations launched through Messenger in 2017.
In December 2017, Facebook published statistics regarding the usage of their messaging app. According to their data, there were 260 million new conversations occurring per day in 2017. This is a good indicator of just how much we communicate through messaging apps daily.
14. In 2017, there were over 7 billion conversations happening every day via Messenger.
While we saw in the previous stat that there were 260 million new conversations per day on Facebook Messenger, over 7 billion conversations happen on the app in general, each day. That amounts to almost every person in the world participating in a Facebook Messenger conversation every day.
15. Facebook Messenger is the second most downloaded app of all time.
Messenger is currently the second most downloaded app in the world. According to Facebook statistics provided by Sensor Tower, Messenger kept its second-place position from the previous year. In the first quarter of 2019, it had over 200 million unique downloads. Messenger is also the second most downloaded app of all time. First place belongs to WhatsApp, which has recently dethroned the Facebook app and took the crown of being the most downloaded app worldwide. The Facebook app is now third on the list. As you probably already know, all three of these applications are owned by Facebook.
16. There are 40 million active businesses on Messenger.
Messaging apps are becoming a new space for businesses to display their ads. However, ads are not the only way for businesses to tap into the messaging market. Companies are already effectively using Facebook Messenger in order to communicate with their (prospective) customers. According to data provided by Facebook there are currently 40 million active businesses on Messenger. Having in mind how many people use Facebook Messenger, this is surely a great way for businesses to reach their target audience.
17. 20 billion messages are exchanged between businesses and users through Messenger each month.
Businesses greatly rely on Facebook and Messenger in order to reach and communicate with their customers. According to data provided by Facebook this year, over 20 billion messages are exchanged between individuals and businesses on Messenger every month.
18. 17 billion photos are shared each month via Facebook Messenger.
A huge part of communication today is the exchange of photographs through chatting apps. From memes to baby pictures, we send out a huge number of photos to each other every day. Data from 2019 provided by TechCrunch shows that 17 billion photos are sent each month through Messenger.
19. The number of bots on Messenger crossed the 300,000 threshold in 2018.
Chatbots are the future of marketing and customer service. Bots are being increasingly used by companies, especially smaller businesses, to provide instant help and information for customers. Having chatbots reduces the number of people you need to have actively working in customer service to answer standard questions customers might have. In 2018, Facebook announced that the number of chatbots on their Messenger platform went over 300,000. Messaging apps statistics show that this is three times more than the previous year, when there were 100,000 bots on Messenger.
20. More than 5 billion emojis are sent on Messenger daily.
Ever since their creation on Facebook Messenger, emojis have become a core part of our daily communication. In 2017 on World Emoji Day and in the days preceding the premiere of The Emoji Movie, Facebook revealed some statistics on messaging apps concerning emoji use. According to Facebook’s own data, over 5 billion emojis were sent every day in 2017. The most popular emojis in the world were: Face Throwing a Kiss, Smiling Face With Heart-Shaped Eyes and the Heart emoji, in that order.
21. WhatsApp has a 73% penetration rate in Saudi Arabia.
Penetration rate is one of the most important metrics in marketing, referring to a percentage of usage or sales in the total available market. Statista’s data on the most popular messaging apps by country tells us that WhatsApp has an impressive 73% user penetration rate in Saudi Arabia. It boasts the highest number of whatsapp users by country. Following Saudi Arabia are Malaysia and Germany, with 68% and 65% penetration rates respectively.
22. WhatsApp dethroned Facebook as the most popular app in the Facebook family in 2018.
WhatsApp became the most downloaded app in the world in 2018. According to App Annie’s 2018 State of Mobile report, WhatsApp took the lead from Facebook as the most popular and most-downloaded app. The reason for this success is that WhatsApp provided a free online messaging alternative to SMS and other means of instant messaging. This success is very evident when we look at how many people use WhatsApp. App Annie’s data shows that while Facebook had a 20% year growth, WhatsApp increased by 35%.
23. WhatsApp has 1.6 billion active users.
Without a doubt, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world. When we look at the number of WhatsApp monthly active users (not to be mixed with the number of daily users), we can see that a fifth of the world’s population is relying on this app. Statista’s data on most popular messaging apps in the world shows that the current number of monthly active users is 1.6 billion. That is six times more than it had in 2013 - the year WhatsApp was launched.
24. There are 500 million WhatsApp daily active users in 2019.
Besides having an enormous number of monthly users, WhatsApp also boasts an impressive amount of those who use it on a daily basis. Statista’s 2019 Messaging apps statistics show that there are 500 million daily active WhatsApp users.
25. There are only 25 countries in the world where WhatsApp is not the market leader.
The WhatsApp empire spans most of the known world. Statistics on mobile messaging apps provided by Messenger People tell us that there are only 25 countries out there in which WhatsApp is not the most popular app. Most of these countries are in Asia, where platforms like WeChat dominate the market. However, one of those countries is the United States, where Facebook Messenger reigns supreme.
26. 58% of WhatsApp active users utilize the app more than once per day.
When we look at the data concerning WhatsApp usage among its active users, 58% of them stated that they use the app more than once daily.
27. WeChat has 1.1 billion monthly active users.
WeChat is a messaging app created by Tencent, the Chinese tech powerhouse. Tencent is the largest video game publisher as well, having stakes in Riot Games (creator of League of Legends) and Epic Games (Fortnite) to name a few. Their messaging app, WeChat, launched in 2011 and its number of users rose to 100 million by 2012. According to WeChat statistics, it now has 1.1 billion monthly active users, making it the most popular instant messenger in China.
28. Only 4.3% of WeChat users are older than 46.
According to Statista, WeChat users are pretty evenly spread out among the 19-to-45 age group. The group that is slightly more represented than others is the group of people aged between 25 and 30 - 28.3%. However, only 4.3% of users are older than 46.
29. Almost 80% of the top 500 Chinese companies are registered WeChat users.
(China Internet Watch)
WeChat is one of the biggest players in the messaging apps business, having a significant part of the messaging app market share and undoubtedly the dominant force in China. China Internet Watch reports that almost 80% of the top 500 companies in China are registered as WeChat corporate users.
30. WeChat’s daily payment transactions surpassed 1 billion in 2018.
(China Internet Watch)
With WeChat it’s all about billions. Part of WeChat’s appeal is that it is not only one of the top messaging apps, but it also has numerous integrated “mini apps” that cover a variety of services - from car hailing to banking. Besides that, WeChat’s other major function is payments. WeChat connects straight to your bank account, allowing you to use it for payment almost anywhere in China. In 2018, the amount of daily transactions that went through WeChat was over 1 billion.
31. Around 50% of WeChat users open the app at least 10 times a day.
Yep, you read that correctly. Half of the WeChat user base opens the app at least 10 times a day, which is why it's one of the most popular chat apps. This is due to WeChat offering a multitude of services that integrate into the platform. Messaging, payments and a whole array of services that can be added through “mini apps” make WeChat into an all-in-one solution, while Western consumers have to use a multitude of different apps to obtain the same services.
32. WeChat amounted for 34% of users’ internet data traffic and made up 4.7% of China’s total information consumption in 2017.
WeChat’s online texting app is so big in China that it makes up a significant amount of total internet traffic, both with individual users and China as a whole. The WeChat Economic & Social Impact Report published by Tencent shows that WeChat amounted for 34% of its user data consumption. Furthermore, WeChat usage amounts to 4.7% of all information consumption in China according to this report.
33. 45 billion messages were sent through WeChat daily in 2018.
Naturally, with such a large user base comes a huge number of messages which are sent daily. ZDNet reports that there were 45 billion messages sent out each day through WeChat in 2018.
34. More than 90% of WeChat users use it every day.
WalktheChat’s report on the impact of WeChat showcases just how much its users rely on the app. Their data report from 2016 shows that over 90% of WeChat users use the app each day. Additionally, over half of that group uses it for more than an hour daily. WeChat is certainly one of the most used chat apps.
Frequently Asked Questions
This title definitely goes to WhatsApp. According to messaging apps stats, WhatsApp currently has 1.6 billion users. The runner up is Facebook Messenger with 1.3 billion users.
The USA is one of the 25 countries in which WhatsApp is not the most popular messaging app. Facebook Messenger dominates the US market with 107.87 million users.
When we look at WhatsApp user penetration, Saudi Arabia is the country where WhatsApp is most popular. WhatsApp boasts a 73% penetration rate in Saudi Arabia, followed by Malaysia (68%) and Germany (65%).
Yes, and by a pretty wide margin. When we look at popular messenger apps, WhatsApp has 1.6 billion active users, while Messenger has 1.3, and WeChat recently crossed the 1 billion threshold.
While the messaging apps statistics for a total number of people that use instant messaging are unavailable, when we combine the user bases of the three most popular messaging apps we reach the number of nearly 4 billion. That’s 1.6 billion on WhatsApp, 1.3 on Messenger and a little over a billion with WeChat.
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While Damjan started his career in humanities, his interests quickly moved on to the tech and IT world. VPNs, antiviruses, firewalls, password managers - cybersecurity is what he knows best. When Damjan’s not losing hair over the dwindling of our collective sense of tech safety, you’ll find him looking for solace in 100-hour-long RPGs and rage-inducing MOBAs.