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UK Insights

Popularity of instant messaging apps soars

Claire Davies

Former editor and head of content

Social 06.10.2015 / 11:00

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12% global uplift in apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Facebook Messenger

Over half of internet users worldwide (55%) are now using an instant messaging app every day, according to Connected Life, by Kantar's TNS. Instant messaging is particularly dominant in emerging 'mobile first' markets, with daily usage high in China (69%), Brazil (73%), Malaysia (77%) and South Africa (64%). The UK is lagging behind, with 39% of Brits using an app like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger every day, up from 24% in 2014.

Connected Life, a study of over 60,000 internet users worldwide, shows that although use of instant messaging apps is rising, traditional social media platforms are still holding strong. In the UK, social network usage is up from 48% in 2014, to 52% in 2015.

Top three UK social networks (daily use by all internet users)

  1. Facebook (53%)
  2. YouTube (26%)
  3. Twitter (19%)

Top three global social networks (daily use by all internet users)

  1. Facebook (30%)
  2. WeChat Moments (20%)
  3. QQ Space (15%)

Top three UK instant messenger apps (daily use by all internet users)

  1. WhatsApp (23%) and Facebook Messenger (23%)
  2. Skype (8%)

Top three global instant messenger apps (daily use by all internet users)

  1. WeChat (29%)
  2. WhatsApp (17%)
  3. Facebook Messenger (15%)

Global director of Connected Life, Joseph Webb says: "Apps like Snapchat, WeChat, Line and WhatsApp are sweeping up new users every day, particularly younger people who want to share experiences with a smaller, specific group, rather than using public, mainstream platforms like Facebook or Twitter. As people's online habits become ever more fragmented, brands need to tap into the growing popularity of IM and other emerging platforms. The need for a content-driven approach across IM, social and traditional channels has never been clearer. Yet at the same time brands need to be very careful. Instant messaging is a more closed medium, meaning it is essential to share limited content that is genuinely relevant and valuable."

Source : Kantar TNS

Editor's Notes

Connected Life is a global study of the digital attitudes and behaviours of 60,500 internet users across 50 countries, exploring how technology is transforming the lives of consumers across the world.

The data in the chart above is from a base of 980 UK respondents in 2014 and 3,054 in 2015.

For more information please contact us.

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