IM battle in SA: WhatsApp vs BBM vs Skype

WhatsApp is by far the most popular instant messaging (IM) platform in South Africa, followed by BBM, then Facebook messenger. This is according to the latest “South African Mobile Report” from the IAB SA and Effective Measure.

For the report Effective Measure surveyed 5,113 desktop Internet users, asking them questions related to their smartphone choices, the South African smartphone market, and instant messaging platforms.

According to the report, WhatsApp is leading the IM race, with close to 80% of smartphone users saying they regularly use the messaging tool. BBM came in second with around 26%, and Facebook Messenger claimed third at around 21%.

The following chart gives an overview of the popularity of the different IM platforms in South Africa.

IM popularity in SA
IM popularity in SA

Global Web Index 2014 Mobile Messaging report

The Effective Measure/IAB SA numbers are partly substantiated by Global Web Index’s 2014 Mobile Messaging report.

The 2014 Mobile Messaging report stated that WhatsApp was the most popular IM platform among South Africans, with 78% of users making use of the app within a month period.

The report added that around 45% of South Africans used Facebook Messenger in the same period, while WeChat garnered the third most support from South Africans with 18% of the tracked population using the app.

Total Facebook use in South Africa was at about 11 million at the end of 2013 (not necessarily reflecting Facebook Messenger users).

Top messaging apps in SA
Top messaging apps in SA

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IM battle in SA: WhatsApp vs BBM vs Skype