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Most Popular Messaging Apps (2024)

by Fabio Duarte
November 21, 2023

Messaging apps are a part of many people’s daily lives.

Their popularity has grown significantly in recent years and they show no sign of slowing down.

Read on for the latest data on instant messaging services including specific stats related to the most popular apps.

Contents

Top Messaging App Statistics 2024 (Editor’s Picks)

  • WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app with 2.4 billion monthly users.
  • There are over 3 billion active users on messaging apps.
  • Between 2016 and 2021, the number of messaging app users grew by over 1 billion.
  • WhatsApp is the leading messaging app in over 60 countries.

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app, boasting approximately 2.4 billion monthly users. That’s 300 million more than the second most popular messenger app, Facebook Messenger (2.1 billion).

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Here’s a breakdown of the most popular messaging services by active monthly users:

Rank Messaging Service Number of Active Monthly Users
1 WhatsApp 2.4 billion
2 Facebook Messenger 2.1 billion
3 WeChat 1.2 billion
4 Viber 823 million
5 Telegram 500 million
6 Snapchat 347 million
7 LINE 178 million
8 Discord 170 million
9 QQ 57 million
10 KakaoTalk 49 million
11 Signal 40 million

In terms of monthly downloads, WhatsApp Messenger leads the way with almost 50 million each month.

Telegram (34.29 million) and Snapchat (32.32 million) make up the rest of the top three.

WhatsApp Business (24.12 million) receives almost half as many downloads as WhatsApp Messenger. Combined (69.7 million), both WhatsApp apps are downloaded more than twice as much as any other messaging service.

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Here’s a breakdown of monthly downloads for messaging apps:

Rank Messaging Service Monthly Downloads
1 WhatsApp Messenger 45.58 million
2 Telegram 34.29 million
3 Snapchat 32.32 million
4 WhatsApp Business 24.12 million
5 Facebook Messenger 21.87 million
6 WeChat 8 million
7 QQ 3.76 million
8 Viber 3.63 million
9 LINE 2.73 million
10 Signal 2.51 million

No messaging service generates more revenue per month in in-app purchases than LINE ($15.81 million).

Together with second-placed Snapchat ($12.53 million), the two messaging apps generate more in-app revenue ($28.34 million) than the rest of the top 10 messaging apps combined ($22.82 million).

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Here’s a closer look at the top messaging services for in-app purchase revenue:

Rank Messaging Service Monthly In-App Purchase Revenue
1 LINE $15.81 million
2 Snapchat $12.53 million
3 WeChat $5.22 million
4 QQ $4.86 million
5 KakaoTalk $3.69 million
6 Telegram $2.52 million
7 Skype $2.41 million
8 Text Me $1.51 million
9 Kik Messaging $1.41 million
10 TextNow $1.2 million

Source: Business of Apps, Data Reportal, AppMagic, AppMagic (2)

WhatsApp

With 2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is unrivaled as the top messaging service.

In fact, that figure accounts for approximately 24.8% of the global population, meaning around 1 in 4 people use WhatsApp worldwide.

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Looking specifically at over 13s, WhatsApp’s monthly users would account for 31.7% of the global population - closer to 1 in 3 people worldwide.

Here’s how WhatsApp users are split by gender:

Gender Proportion of WhatsApp Users
Male 52.8%
Female 47.1%

WhatsApp holds an 87.83% market share in the UK - that’s roughly 2x as large as WhatsApp’s US market share (43.37%).

Over half (59%) of US WhatsApp users open the app daily. In the UK, that figure is a staggering 89%.

Here’s a breakdown of WhatsApp user penetration figures for select countries (2022):

Country US UK Canada Australia
Install Penetration 43.37% 87.83% 60.64% 64.68%
Downloads 41.4 million 8.2 million 3.4 million 2.25 million
Unique Installs 23.09 million 3.25 million 1.83 million 2.4 million
Daily Active Users 15.15 million 14.02 million 5.09 million 3.38 million
Monthly Active Users 25.65 million 15.79 million 6.92 million 4.86 million

The US is the leading country in terms of Whats App iOS downloads (6.6 million) with over 4x more downloads than any other nation in Q2 2022.

Here are the top 10 nations for WhatsApp iOS downloads in Q2 2022:

Rank Country Number of WhatsApps iOS Downloads
1 US 6.6 million
2 Mexico 1.46 million
3 India 1.26 million
4 UK 1.21 million
5 Indonesia 0.95 million
6 France 0.93 million
7 Brazil 0.93 million
8 Turkey 0.88 million
9 Germany 0.87 million
10 Canada 0.6 million

And here’s a breakdown of WhatsApp downloads via the Google Play Store in the same quarter:

Rank Country WhatsApp Downloads via Google Play Store
1 India 5.81 million
2 Mexico 4.99 million
3 Brazil 4.53 million
4 Indonesia 4.49 million
5 United States 3.72 million
6 Nigeria 2.41 million
7 Russia 2.1 million
8 Pakistan 1.95 million
9 Colombia 1.66 million
10 Turkey 1.59 million

WhatsApp Business has seen significant growth over the past few years.

In 2018, just under 40 million people downloaded WhatsApp Business.

As of 2022, that figure had increased more than 7x, reaching 283.51 million downloads.

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Below, is the number of WhatsApp Business downloads by year:

Year Number of WhatsApp Business Downloads
2018 37.87 million
2019 98.82 million
2020 170.46 million
2021 210.09 million
2022 283.51 million

Source: Data Reportal, Sinch Engage, SimilarWeb, Airnow, Airnow (2), AppMagic

Facebook Messenger

Despite commanding a significant proportion of the global messaging app market, Facebook Messenger has seen downloads drop from 778.77 million in 2015 to 337.45 million in 2022 - a fall of more than 50%.

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These are the figures for Facebook Messenger downloads since 2015:

Year Facebook Messenger Downloads Change Over Previous Year
2015 778.77 million -
2016 769.26 million ↓ 9.51 million
2017 783.38 million ↑ 14.12 million
2018 782.31 million ↓ 1.07 million
2019 701.96 million ↓ 81.07 million
2020 484.45 million ↓ 217.51 million
2021 332.89 million ↓ 151.56 million
2022 337.45 million ↑ 4.56 million

In terms of nations, India (132 million) blows all the others out of the water for the sheer number of Facebook Messenger users. However, 132 million users only accounts for 9% of the total population.

By comparison, Vietnam has 57.7 million Facebook Messenger users, making up around 59% of its population.

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Here are the top countries by Facebook Messenger users:

Country Facebook Messenger Users Proportion of Population
India 132 million 9%
Mexico 62.3 million 49%
Brazil 61.3 million 29%
Philippines 60.4 million 53%
Vietnam 57.7 million 59%
Thailand 38.1 million 53%
Egypt 36.8 million 34%
UK 28.5 million 42%
Indonesia 28.3 million 10%
Bangladesh 25.4 million 15%

And here’s a detailed breakdown of Facebook Messenger user penetration for select countries (2022):

Country US UK Canada Australia
Install Penetration 62.65% 67.85% 74.67% 77.83%
Downloads 75.62 million 11.41 million 6.9 million 4 million
Unique Installs 25.28 million 1.83 million 1.27 million 1.51 million
Daily Active Users 44.83 million 5.29 million 5.11 million 4.59 million
Monthly Active Users 69.87 million 9.02 million 7.35 million 6.02 million

Source: AppMagic, Data Reportal, Data Reportal (2), SimilarWeb

Snapchat

The number of daily active users on Snapchat has steadily grown over the last decade.

In fact, since Q1 2014 (46 million) the number of Snapchat users has increased by more than 8x (397 million in Q2 2023).

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Here’s a breakdown of active Snapchat users over time:

Quarter, Year Number of Daily Active Snapchat Users North America Europe Rest of World
Q1, 2014 46 million 26 million 14 million 6 million
Q2, 2014 57 million 30 million 18 million 9 million
Q3, 2014 62 million 32 million 20 million 11 million
Q4, 2014 71 million 35 million 23 million 13 million
Q1, 2015 80 million 38 million 27 million 16 million
Q2, 2015 86 million 40 million 29 million 18 million
Q3, 2015 94 million 44 million 30 million 20 million
Q4, 2015 107 million 48 million 34 million 24 million
Q1, 2016 122 million 54 million 39 million 29 million
Q2, 2016 143 million 61 million 46 million 36 million
Q3, 2016 153 million 65 million 49 million 39 million
Q4, 2016 158 million 68 million 52 million 39 million
Q1, 2017 166 million 71 million 55 million 40 million
Q2, 2017 173 million 75 million 57 million 42 million
Q3, 2017 178 million 77 million 57 million 44 million
Q4, 2017 187 million 80 million 60 million 47 million
Q1, 2018 191 million 81 million 62 million 48 million
Q2, 2018 188 million 80 million 61 million 47 million
Q3, 2018 186 million 79 million 59 million 47 million
Q4, 2018 186 million 79 million 60 million 47 million
Q1, 2019 190 million 80 million 61 million 49 million
Q2, 2019 203 million 83 million 64 million 56 million
Q3, 2019 210 million 84 million 65 million 61 million
Q4, 2019 218 million 86 million 67 million 64 million
Q1, 2020 229 million 88 million 70 million 71 million
Q2, 2020 238 million 90 million 71 million 77 million
Q3, 2020 249 million 90 million 72 million 87 million
Q4, 2020 265 million 92 million 74 million 99 million
Q1, 2021 280 million 93 million 77 million 111 million
Q2, 2021 293 million 95 million 78 million 120 million
Q3, 2021 306 million 96 million 80 million 130 million
Q4, 2021 319 million 97 million 82 million 140 million
Q1, 2022 332 million 98 million 84 million 150 million
Q2, 2022 347 million 99 million 86 million 162 million
Q3, 2022 363 million 100 million 88 million 175 million
Q4, 2022 375 million 100 million 92 million 183 million
Q1, 2023 383 million 100 million 93 million 190 million
Q2, 2023 397 million 101 million 94 million 202 million

India has the most Snapchat users with over 180 million.

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Combined (291.15 million), India (182.35 million) and the US (108.8 million), have more than the rest of the top 20 countries put together (approximately 256.3 million).

Rank Country Snapchat Audience
1 India 182.35 million
2 US 108.8 million
3 Pakistan 26.35 million
4 France 25.9 million
5 UK 23.15 million
6 Saudi Arabia 21.75 million
7 Germany 18.65 million
8 Mexico 17.15 million
9 Iraq 16.75 million
10 Egypt 15.65 million
11 Turkey 15 million
12 Nigeria 13.05 million
13 Canada 11.45 million
14 Russia 8.05 million
15 Australia 7.95 million
16 Philippines 7.75 million
17 Brazil 7.35 million
=18 Algeria 7.15 million
=18 Netherlands 7.15 million
20 Colombia 6.05 million

And here’s a Snapchat user penetration for select countries (2022):

Country US UK Canada Australia
Install Penetration 31.14% 25.45% 30.36% 30.06%
Downloads 154.8 million 28.62 million 12.83 million 7.29 million
Unique Installs 25.22 million 1.87 million 1.36 million 1.61 million
Daily Active Users 17.64 million 3.36 million 1.47 million 1.66 million
Monthly Active Users 26.94 million 4.79 million 2.09 million 2.328 million

Source: Snap Inc., Snap Inc. (2), Data Reportal, SimilarWeb

Telegram

As of October 2023, there are approximately 800 million Telegram users - that figure accounts for around 9.9% of the world’s population. Only taking into account those aged 16+, that’s 13.5% of the global population.

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Males make up 58% of all Telegram users.

Instant messaging app Telegram has seen a general increase in quarterly downloads over time.

In Q3 2023, Telegram received 113.52 million downloads - more than double Q1 2020’s 55.81 million.

Regionally, Asia-Pacific leads the way with 46.73 million downloads in Q3 2023. That figure was closely followed by Europe, the Middle East, and Africa’s combined total of 42.41 million downloads.

Here’s a look at Telegram’s download figures over time:

Quarter, Year Telegram Downloads Asia-Pacific Europe, the Middle East, and Africa North America and Latin America
Q1 2020 55.81 million 21.99 million 24.5 million 9.32 million
Q2 2020 82.77 million 37.55 million 29.03 million 16.19 million
Q3 2020 88.09 million 42.38 million 26.8 million 18.91 million
Q4 2020 97.83 million 53.82 million 29.92 million 14.09 million
Q1 2021 166.83 million 61.77 million 51.25 million 53.81 million
Q2 2021 79.56 million 35.61 million 26.34 million 17.61 million
Q3 2021 84.77 million 40.16 million 26.7 million 17.91 million
Q4 2021 98.59 million 46.94 million 32.48 million 19.17 million
Q1 2022 98.39 million 42.92 million 35.05 million 20.42 million
Q2 2022 96.82 million 41.45 million 34.79 million 20.58 million
Q3 2022 91.51 million 38.73 million 32.15 million 20.63 million
Q4 2022 94.69 million 40.18 million 34.56 million 19.95 million
Q1 2023 96.88 million 39.39 million 35.25 million 22.24 million
Q2 2023 100.54 million 40.81 million 36.42 million 23.31 million
Q3 2023 113.52 million 46.73 million 42.41 million 24.38 million

In the US alone, Telegram was downloaded 35.98 million times in 2022. That’s around 4x more than the UK (5.82 million), Canada (2.23 million), and Australia (1.35 million) combined.

Here’s a closer look at Telegram’s user penetration for select countries (2022):

Country US UK Canada Australia
Install Penetration 18.87% 19.05% 17.44% 14.86%
Downloads 35.98 million 5.82 million 2.23 million 1.35 million
Unique Installs 3.97 million 0.85 million 0.35 million 0.23 million
Daily Active Users 5.14 million 1.95 million 0.99 million 0.37 million
Monthly Active Users 10.89 million 4.41 million 1.97 million 0.84 million

The most popular channel category on Telegram is news with 85% of users agreeing.

At least half of Telegram users also use Entertainment (62%), Educational (58%), and Political (50%) channels.

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Here are the most popular Telegram channel categories:

Rank Telegram Channel Category Popularity
1 News 85%
2 Entertainment 62%
3 Educational 58%
4 Political 50%
5 News from own industry 48%
6 Personal channels of friends 45%
7 Special military operation 36%
8 Bloggers and celebrities 31%
9 Internal channels of companies 19%
10 Brands/companies 17%
11 Products and discounts 16%
12 Channels with job offers 14%
13 Channels for adults 13%
14 Darknet-channels 4%

Source: Data Reportal, AppMagic, SimilarWeb, TGStat

WeChat

As of 2023, WeChat has 1.33 billion monthly users.

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That figure makes up 16.5% of the population (21.1% when discounting under 13s).

There are slightly more males than females using WeChat with 52.2% of the user base identifying as such.

Source: Data Reportal

Tencent QQ

The latest data shows that there are approximately 571 million monthly active QQ users.

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That’s 7.1% of the global population or 9.1% if discounting under 13s.

Just under half (48%) of QQ users are female.

Source: Data Reportal

Discord

There are around 150 million monthly active users on Discord.

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Discord users make up 1.9% of the world’s population. If only counting those aged 13+, that’s 2.4% of the global population.

Males outnumber females by over 2:1 on Discord (67.3% vs 31.5%).

Source: Data Reportal

How Many People Use Messaging Apps?

More than 3 billion people actively use messaging apps.

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Here’s a breakdown of how that figure has changed over time:

Year Messaging App Users Change Over Previous Year
2016 2.11 billion -
2017 2.38 billion +270 million
2018 2.52 billion +140 million
2019 2.81 billion +290 million
2020 3.19 billion +380 million
2021 3.32 billion +130 million

Sources: Business of Apps

Regional Messaging App Stats

WhatsApp is the leading messaging app in 63 countries including:

  • Brazil
  • Egypt
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • UK

Facebook Messenger is the most popular messaging app in 16 nations including:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Sweden
  • US

Telegram is the top messaging app in 10 countries.

Viber is top in 4 countries.

Line is the most popular messaging app in Japan and Thailand

WeChat is number one in China, KakaoTalk is top in South Korea, and Zalo is the market leader in Vietnam.

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Source: SimilarWeb

Conclusion

Messaging apps continue to go from strength to strength with WhatsApp firmly leading the way.

For more related content, take a look at our other blog posts: Top Social Media Platforms and Top 20 New Social Media Networks.