Messaging App Goes Beyond Social Networking
Messaging apps have become bigger than social networks and not restricted to chats and sharing data. Messaging apps have now evolved into expansive ecosystems with their own developers, apps, and APIs. Users around the world are logging in to messaging apps to not only chat with friends but also to connect with brands, browse merchandise, and watch content.
According to comScore study, smartphone owners spend 80 percent of their time in their three most-used apps. According to research by Nomura based on Sensor Tower data, Facebook apps accounted for more than 60 percent of all app downloads in May. According to the study, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Whatsapp combined to account for more downloads than every other app combined - millions of apps from millions of companies and other developers, including Google.
Chat apps boast a number of distinct characteristics that make their audiences particularly appealing to businesses and marketers, including their size, retention and usage rates, and user demographics. The combined user base of the top four chat apps is larger than the combined user base of the top four social networks.
Chat apps also have higher retention and usage rates than most mobile apps. Finally, the majority of their users are young, an extremely important demographic for brands, advertisers and publishers.
Falling data prices, cheaper devices, and improved features are helping propel Messaging app developers growth. In the next phase, companies will focus on building out services and monetizing chat apps’ massive user base. Popular Asian messaging apps like WeChat, KakaoTalk, and LINE have taken the lead in finding innovative ways to keep users engaged. They have also built successful strategies for monetizing their services.
Media companies, and marketers are still investing more time and resources into social networks like Facebook and Twitter than they are into messaging services. That will change as messaging companies build out their services and provide more avenues for connecting brands, publishers, and advertisers with users.
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