The UK will account for almost 20 per cent – or 27.9m – of all mobile phone messaging app users in Western Europe at the close of 2016, according to eMarketer’s latest mobile phone messaging app forecast.
Mobile phone messaging apps will have been used by more than 149 million consumers in Western Europe.
The UK’s rate of growth year-on-year, however, is lower than the next two largest proportions – France (21.4m) and Germany (24m). The UK saw a growth of 13.4 per cent, compared to France’s 16.5 per cent and Germany’s 13.7 per cent.
France’s projections have grown since eMarketer’s last forecast, largely because of the growth in Facebook and mobile social network users which in turn drives chat app adoption.
“One reason mobile messaging apps have taken off is because they are a cheaper alternative to SMS/MMS,” said Cathy Boyle, principal analyst of mobile at eMarketer. “Brand marketers are eager to follow consumers to these apps, but injecting themselves into users’ conversations is not easy, and it’s often unwelcome. However, the expansion of messaging apps into platforms that include chat bots and editorial content is providing marketers with more natural places to engage messaging app users.”
Worldwide, mobile phone messaging apps will have been used by 1.4bn consumers in 2016 – a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent. By the end of the forecast period in 2019, it is predicted that 26.7 per cent of the global population will use a chat app – working out to more than 2bn users.