A look at WhatsApp with infographics and numbers and how it compares to other social platforms such as WeChat, KakaoTalk, and Viber.
"Does every 'ad guru' have their PowerPoint updated to include WhatsApp?" Chris Copeland, chief executive (CEO) of GroupM Next, tweeted this tongue-in-cheek comment when news of Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of the U.S. mobile messaging app broke on Tuesday.
We Are Social, a London-based social media agency, has produced a few infographics to provide context on the massive buyout.
According to the chart above, WhatsApp adds 1 million users every day, with 50 billion messages sent via the mobile platform worldwide.
"With [the] WhatsApp addition to Facebook’s portfolio, the social giant will now be able to tap into a huge wealth of data about real-time social interactions and understand the fluid dynamics between people in a way that its existing platform doesn’t do," Simon Kemp, Singapore-based managing director for We Are Social, explains in an email.
He hopes Facebook will not monetize WhatsApp through advertising and suggests it offer real-time customer service offerings for brands or explore its foray to replace SMS marketing.
WhatsApp is not without competitors in the mobile messaging space. China’s Tencent-owned WeChat or Weixin, which launched two years after WhatsApp and in its early days was coined a "clone," is fast becoming the hottest social network among advertisers in the country.
Based on statistics from the companies' internal data (refer to image above), WhatsApp has 400 million active members, which still ranks ahead of WeChat, which has 272 million.
WhatsApp prides itself on its "No ads! No games! No gimmicks!" policy, a simple user interface, and zero marketing, which it says makes it stand out from competitors.
In contrast, WeChat rolled out an aggressive TV campaign in 15 countries that featured sports star Lionel Messi to promote its service outside of China last August, as part of its plans for global expansion.
Korean company Naver Corp’s LINE and KakaoTalk are two other notable Asian chat apps that are rapidly adding members to their user bases and have ambitions to expand internationally.
Both apps do not reveal active user data but We Are Social estimates that each of them has around 100 million active users, mostly from Asia in South Korea, Japan, and Indonesia.
Just last week, Rakuten, Japan’s e-commerce platform, paid $900 million to buy Israeli chat app Viber to strengthen its mobile commerce and content play, which appears to now pale in comparison to Facebook’s latest purchase.
As a marketer, how and what are you doing to navigate mobile social messaging and the increasingly social m-commerce landscape to connect with your audiences?
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Adaline Lau, ClickZ Asia editor, oversees day-to-day editorial operations covering digital marketing from search to social media, mobile to analytics in the region. Before ClickZ, she was senior reporter at Marketing Magazine and has worked as a journalist for The Singapore Marketer and Asia Pacific Broadcasting. Connect with her @adalinelau or Google+.
Hong Kong, May 5-6, 2015
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
May 6, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT