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The Changing Times of Mobile Communication

Gone are the days when calling, texting and e-mail dominate the lines of mobile communicate with others. Now we are in a period were social apps are the preferred line communication platform by many consumers. While Facebook, Twitter and Skype dominate mindshare for online communications they have been facing stiff competition from other messaging apps.

Recently On Device, a mobile marketing research firm, conducted research on the messaging apps used on smartphones. In their findings On Device found that WhatsApp is the second most popular app in the U.S, beating out the likes of Twitter and Skype for that spot. When delving deeper into the demographic profiles WhatsApp is only trailing Facebook Messenger by mere percentage points in the always important 16-24 and 25-34 age groups.

The use of WhatsApp only increases when moving to the four other markets that was polled in this study. In fact, WhatsApp is the dominating messaging app in Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa. This dominance in other countries has helped the messaging app jump past Facebook Messenger when totaling up the results of the 5 markets with 44% of those polled saying that they use it at least once a day.

What’s interesting to note in all of this is the fact that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has been gaining traction amongst messenger platforms. At the time of this study being published BBM launched on iPhone and Android three weeks ago. In the study it found that BBM was actually used once a day by 13% of those surveyed. This is compared to Twitter, which is #3 in messaging apps in the U.S., was used once per day by 24% of those surveyed. With BBM coming to the two biggest platforms it could be the biggest wildcard in the race to become the #1 messaging app in the U.S.

Interestingly when looking at the most popular platforms for sharing photos it is not Facebook or Instagram. The leaders for online photo sharing are in fact Snapchat and WeChat, with 400 million pictures shared a day on each platform. The one caveat to the number of pictures shared on these platforms is that it is not clear if it’s counting the total pictures or pictures sent since the same picture can be sent to multiple recipients. Another important fact about Snapchat is that it is still only showing popularity in the 16-24 year old market, with 20% that demographic stating they use it at least once a week. This is compared to only 3% of the 25 and older demographic using Snapshot on a weekly basis.

With mobile devices becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives the lines of communication are continuously changing. Even popular online communication powers, such as Facebook and Twitter, are facing stiff competition from WhatsApp and other messaging apps here in the US. With the release of BBM for Android and iPhone a few weeks ago the shift in the way we communicate will only continue to change.

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Source: On Device