WhatsApp with 500 million active users is the most popular messaging app globally but its counter part WeChat with 396 million active users isn’t doing bad. According to GlobalWebIndex, a market research company with a focus on online consumer behavior, the Tencent-owned chat service from China has seen a staggering growth of 1099% outside of China between Q1 2013 – Q1 2014.
This tenfold increase makes it the fastest growing chat app at a global level, with particularly significant user bases in markets like Malaysia (33%), Hong Kong (32%), India (21%) and Indonesia (18%). This is a big boost for the messaging app that has been always criticized to have shown growth only within China.
Giving more details on the GlobalWebIndex blog, the report says that the APAC region plays the leading role for the massive growth of WeChat. However, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Africa are showing a growing interest along with smaller footprints from the US and UK market.
WeChat continues to show an impressive growth in China with 73% of the online population aged 16-64 using it. Outside of China, WeChat has in fact become the fourth most popular mobile chat app, with a penetration of 13%.
While this is a good news for WeChat specially its growth in global markets, messaging leader WhatsApp which was acquired by Facebook in the first quarter is witnessing 39% growth followed by Facebook Messenger (37%) and Skype (37%).
WeChat has been investing in innovating features and marketing to gain momentum ahead of Whatsapp that has 50M active users in the country. The efforts are paying for WeChat in India since the app witnessed 1774% growth in 2013 in India followed by WhatsApp with 177% growth. The below infograph shows how WeChat in slowly gathering momentum in the country.
It has also been predicted that WeChat should hit the 35% mark by the start of 2015 – representing an extra 90 million users. With massive features all embedded in the messaging app, WeChat will provide stiff competition to WhatsApp in the near future.