Thursday, 2 March 2017

Everything You Need to Know About the 5 Biggest Messenger Apps

Instant messaging has come a long way since the humble days of MSN Messenger and the myriad of online chat rooms that dominated the web in the late 90s and early 2000s. Today it’s all about mobile apps, and their features are much more advanced than their desktop and web-based predecessors.

The 5 most popular messenger apps in the world are WeChat (1.1 billion users are from China and the surrounding region), WhatsApp (over 1 billion users are from the United States and Europe), Facebook Messenger (1 billion global users), Viber (developed in Israel with over 800 million users), and Line (developed in Japan with 700 million users).

By 2018, 80% of smartphone users are expected to be using at least one messenger app on a regular basis.

The traditional benefits of instant messaging are obvious. It’s faster and more versatile than SMS text messaging and you do not need to go through your provider. The ways messages are displayed and managed tend to be cleaner via messaging. However,  to keep billions of users happy and remain competitive, app developers continue to pile on the features–leaving texting way back in the Stone Age.

Let’s inspect some of the unique features of each popular messenger app:

a versatile program, WhatsApp has the largest group chat capacity of them all; allowing up to 256 users. It has unique camera features that let you write and draw directly onto photos and videos. You can also overlay emojis.

Facebook Messenger
One of Facebook Messenger’s features that take it to the next level is the ability to pay contacts through the app.  Sending and receiving money is free and you can use your pin and fingerprint to secure your payment info. There is even a dedicated anti-fraud team! The feature is only available in the United States and you must link your debit card before carrying out transactions.

The Israeli-based app lets you find and share your location, Doodle on any photo and it supports a Chrome extension that allows you to share from Chrome to Viber. You can easily hide your online status for privacy reasons. 

Although it is one of the least popular messenger apps, Line is one of the most advanced. It uses less data on average than the other apps, especially when it comes to voice calls. It has features such as ‘Pay Contacts’ and taxi ordering (in Japan). It is also full of games, stickers and emojis.

China’s WeChat is pushing to go beyond a messenger app and allows its native users to make doctor appointments, pay bills such as electricity and traffic fines, and book transportation such as taxis and buses. And if you are lonely with nobody to chat to, all you have to do is shake your device and you will connect with another user somewhere in the world who is also shaking for a new friend.

For more interesting facts and figures, check out the new ‘Everything you need to know about the 5 biggest messenger apps’ infographic from!

This guest post was written by Colin Cieloha, Territory Manager of North America at

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