Mumbai Capital

In India, WhatsApp a chat apps chartbuster

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At least 97 per cent of smartphone users in India use communication apps every day, with WhatsApp being the app of choice for 96 per cent of them, according to a study by Jana, a startup that offers an apps marketplace to provide free data to users in developing countries.

The study titled ‘India, a growth opportunity for add developers’, is based on a sampling of Jana’s mCent app users in December 2015. Jana reimburses data which users consume on its mCent app with content sponsored by companies. The reimbursed data can be used to access the Internet without restrictions. The app has 30 million users, with two-thirds in India.

It also found that WhatsApp is installed in 1.7 times more devices than Facebook Messenger and 2.3 times more than home-grown messaging app Hike.

Interestingly, it also showed that while the communication app might be popular, tools that help share documents have the most data usage at 2.3 times more than the communication app combined.

It added that SHAREit, Xender and Zapya are the three top tools by data usage.

Facebook and Google compete the most for daily active users (DAU) in India, said the study, with apps from these firms having three times more daily active users than others like UC Browser, Truecaller, Hike, MXPlayer, SHAREit combined, the study said.

Three of the top five used apps as measured by DAU are by Google — YouTube, Google, and Gmail — while the other two are the Facebook Android app and WhatsApp, it said.

Jana’s study also found that 53 per cent use a shopping app and cash still rules in India. “Since credit card penetration in India is only 1.7%, cash is still king when it comes to making in-app purchases in India,” it said.

As of February 2016, WhatsApp had a user base of up to one billion, making it the world's most popular messaging application. It was acquired by Facebook for $19.3 billion in February 2014.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 6:35:49 PM |

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