A survey of nearly 4,000 smartphone users in five countries found that 44% use WhatsApp at least once a week, whereas just 35% use Facebook messenger. The research by On Device also found that Snapchat’s largest sources 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 86% use social messaging daily, while 73% use their phones for voice calls, 75% use SMS messages, and 60% 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 2013. 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¢ annual subscription on Android and other smartphone operating systems.
In August WhatsApp, which is used by 300 million people worldwide every month, launched an update to offer voice messaging services. As with the application’s text messages – an estimated 11 billion of which are sent every day – the sender of the voice messages will be able to see when they have been listened to.
The option of sending voice messages has been added to the Whatsapp application for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Nokia S40.