WhatsApp, one of Facebook’s two over-the-top (OTT) messaging apps, is the most popular messaging app in the world, according to new data from digital market intelligence firm SimilarWeb.
Earlier this year, it was reported WhatsApp’s message volume alone (more than 30 billion daily) surpassed the total global SMS volume (20 billion daily). Out of 187 countries, WhatsApp was the most popular app in 109. In pretty much every country, a messaging app tops the charts as the most-used app overall.
Facebook’s Messenger came in second as the most-popular app in 49 countries. Facebook's ownership of both WhatsApp and Messenger means that it controls nearly 80% of the OTT messaging market in the world. Combined, the two apps facilitate 60 billion messages a day, three times the amount that SMS processes.
Viber comes in a distant third place, and was the only other app to claim more than 10 other countries. I spoke with Scott Nelson, Viber’s head of North America, a few weeks ago, and he said then that while his company didn’t have a commanding presence in specific regions the way other apps like WeChat and WhatsApp do, it does have a well-scattered footprint that allows it to maintain a presence in just about every market.
Facebook is winning the contest of communication globally, but it still faces resistance, much of which comes directly from governments—Brazil shut down WhatsApp for a day because of the company’s refusal to release data to a police investigation.
As the company continues to expand Messenger’s and WhatsApp’s audiences and capabilities, it will be harder and harder to compete toe-to-toe with the social behemoth.