In her recent 2014 Internet Trends Report at this year’s Code Conference, Mary Meeker revealed a growth of +81% in mobile data traffic since 2013. Not only are users using mobile to access websites more frequently, they are also increasingly using private messaging apps to communicate with friends and family. In the past few years, let alone days and weeks, the popularity of private messaging apps has steadily increased, especially within Facebook.
- February 2014: Facebook made headlines for a $19 billion acquisition of the private messaging service, WhatsApp. Within four years of WhatsApp’s launch, it had 419 million monthly active users.
- April 2014: Facebook announced it was removing its instant messaging service on mobile to help the user experience. If mobile users want to continue receiving messages, they are now required to download Facebook’s separate Messenger app.
- June 2014: Just last week, Zuckerberg’s empire hired David Marcus, the former president of eBay’s PayPal, to expand on messaging products within the company.
Facebook isn’t the only contender in the private messaging sphere. Asian countries with strict Internet censorship laws outside of the US have also been using private messaging apps to communicate. The image below is from Meeker’s report that highlights six of the top apps for personal messaging, including text, images and videos in 2013. Meeker summarizes that users are posting more frequently with smaller groups of friends on private messaging apps versus posting fewer messages to bigger audiences. Given the recent statistics revealed in the 2014 Internet Trends report, will your business consider allocating a part of your marketing efforts to use SnapChat and WhatsApp to target smaller groups of customers?