What’s your go-to messaging app? You may not know it, but your answer will largely depend on where you live.
We analyzed Android data from 90 countries using Similarweb’s market research intelligence, to determine the most popular messaging apps across the world. We found that overall, there were three top messaging apps dominating the global market in 2021. Let’s dive right in.
The Most Popular Messaging Apps by Country
Of the 90 countries that we examined, WhatsApp was the world leader, snagging the top-messaging app spot in 53 countries, 27% of the world and 59% of this dataset. These countries include Argentina, Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and more.
Telegram has shown impressive growth in the last six months, coming in second overall and knocking Facebook Messenger from its previously held position. Last May, the app was ranked third, snagging the most popular app title in 11 countries. As of November 2021, Telegram had the highest popularity in 14 countries including Armenia, Belgium, Cambodia, Latvia, and Venezuela.
Facebook Messenger was the only other messaging app to win four or more countries, showing strong popularity in 13 countries including the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Hungary, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, and Thailand.
Viber has a strong presence in Europe, winning against Bulgaria, Greece, and Ukraine. Line is maintaining popularity in Asia, with the highest performance in Japan and Taiwan.
Apps that only claim one country include Color Message (Slovenia), KakaoTalk (South Korea), Zalo (Vietnam), WeChat (China), and Plus Messenger (Uzbekistan)
Top 5 messaging apps: performance by country
WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Viber, and Line are the most used messaging apps, representing 84 countries, or 43% of the world and 93% of this dataset.
Below is a breakdown of the 2021 performance of each popular messaging app in key markets. Metrics analyzed included:
WhatsApp dominates the Israeli market for mobile messaging apps, with an install penetration of almost 90%. DAUs and MAUs are highest in Germany, but this makes sense given the size of the population.
Facebook Messenger’s install penetration averages around 66%, with Canada topping the leaderboard at 68%. DAUs are highest in Poland, but France is doing the best job at attracting new users and has the highest unique installs.
Telegram’s penetration averages around 30% in its top three countries, with Russia winning at 36%. Unique installs are also the highest in Russia at 5.6 million between January – March 2021. Italy outperforms Spain, especially when comes to DAUs and MAUs.
Viber is very popular in Ukraine, with an install penetration of 80%, followed closely by Greece at 77%. Although Russia has a much lower install penetration than the other two countries in this adset, it is the country with the highest amount of new users and unique installs during the time period.
Line is becoming increasingly popular across Asia, illustrated by its strong presence in both Thailand, Taiwan, and Japan. Although Japan has the lowest install penetration of these three counties, it is doing a better job than Taiwan in getting new users and retaining existing ones.
Mobile messaging apps to watch
Although the mobile messaging world is currently dominated by these top five apps, there are a few key players to watch as competition in the coming months. Take a look at some stars on the rise in the U.S.
Discord is currently the fourth most popular messaging app in the U.S., jumping one spot in November 2021. Discord is a major global player whose performance will be one to watch in the year ahead. The app is currently the most popular communication app in Croatia and is ranked in the top ten in 103 countries, including Finland, China, the United Kingdom, South Korea, France, Australia, and more.
Although not a traditional communication app, Ring – Always Home plays an important role in alerting homeowners to potential security threats and live streaming their properties. The app has maintained steady growth throughout 2021 and is ranked the #6 communication app in the Google Play Store in the U.S. Ring saw a 52% increase in daily active users throughout the year. The home-security app has seen impressive growth in the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, and Belgium.
Google Hangouts has solidified its spot as a top communication app for businesses, as work-from-home becomes a permanent fixture. Throughout the year, Hangouts maintained a spot in the top 20 free messaging apps in the U.S. The app is also trending upwards in a variety of other countries worldwide (Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Honduras, Switzerland, and more), showing the scope of Hangouts’ reach.
To learn more about the data behind this article and what Similarweb has to offer, visit https://www.similarweb.com/.
Sign up to receive our stories in your inbox.
Data is changing the speed of business. Investors, Corporations, and Governments are buying new, differentiated data to gain visibility make better decisions. Don't fall behind. Let us help.