Let’s see those juicy stats
Turns out, more people use WhatsApp than Facebook’s own messaging service.According to a study by Global Web Index, WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, eight out of every 10 users engage with the app on a daily basis. By contrast, Facebook’s Messenger app only sees 6 out of every 10 user engage with it on a daily basis.
Additionally, compared to WhatsApp, twice the number of Messenger users engage with the app less than once a week.
People still wary of Messenger
This isn’t a terribly surprising revelation. Facebook users didn’t really want the Messenger app when it first came out. On top of that, WhatsApp’s design far supercedes the Messenger layout. However, it still indicates that Messenger could serve to take a few cues from its sibling app.
What’s even stranger is that endless users don’t actually know that Facebook owns WhatsApp. That’s significant, because the chat app’s user base could be susceptible to shared personal information now, and they could be served ads in the future (in spite of the app’s anti-ad stance). This privacy concern was part of the reason why users were wary of the Messenger app. As more users tap into this app over Facebook’s native service, it could be very tempting for them to switch their position on how they leverage those users for their business.
Facebook’s acquisitions have a purpose
These stats also show that Facebook’s acquisitions are smart. The social media giant has been acquiring companies and technology at a rapid rate. Since they acquired WhatsApp in early 2014, Facebook bought 12 other companies, including Oculus VR. Most of this tech fills in content and technology needs that Facebook lacks. VR technology has fueled its descent into 360 video and photo, while WhatsApp offers an inroad into SMS-style messaging, a style still favored by the vast majority of Internet users.
It’s important to note that this growth and engagement isn’t exclusive to WhatsApp. Chat-style apps as a whole are growing at a faster rate than social networks, according to Business Insider’s analysis. For these apps, all they have to do is develop the right features to really hit the veteran networks where it hurts. They are already looking to hurt Twitter the most, according to an article by MakeUseOf.
Mark Zuckerberg himself said “Messaging is one of the few things that people do more than social networking.” However you slice it, WhatsApp is capturing that market demand in the best way possible. This is why Facebook would pay so much for it; it positions them to continue to dominate the world of online conversation.