News that Facebook has acquired messenger app market leader WhatsApp for $19 billion is hugely exciting for watchers of emerging markets. While Facebook’s continuing growth in Asia, Africa, and Latin America has been widely reported, the addition of WhatsApp will add an entirely new (and lucrative) set of service offerings to the company portfolio.
WhatsApp is the “no bells, no whistles” messenger app, providing traditional group chat, photo sharing, and video sharing functions, with none of the monetized sticker or Emoji add ons seen in Line, KakaoTalk, and most recently Viber.
So is WhatsApp worth the $19 billion that Facebook have paid for it? According to a Jana survey of consumers in India, Africa, and Latin America, it might well be.
“Which mobile messaging app do you use most?”
WhatsApp is the most used messaging app in every market surveyed, beating out competitors such as WeChat, Viber, and Line by a huge margin.
“When choosing a mobile messaging app, what features do you look for? Check all that apply:”
WhatsApp only offers traditional functions such as text chat and photo/video sharing, but according to our respondents these are the functions that they look for the most in a messaging app. In every market surveyed, the majority of respondents selected group chat or photo sharing as two of the top three items that they look for when choosing a mobile messaging app.
“Why do you use this mobile messaging app the most?”
Respondents in every market frequently referred to the established popularity of WhatsApp, as well as its simplicity and usability.
20, female, India: “It is very easy to use and all of my friends are on it”
24, male, Kenya: “It’s the best app, allowing sending of text, pictures, music, and videos”
21, female, Kenya: “Every one of my friends uses it too”
28, male, Nigeria: “It has instant delivery and is readily available even on small java phones”
25, male, Nigeria: “I can send pictures, record messages, and all my friends are on it”
23, female, South Africa: “Almost all the people I know have it and it’s easy to use plus it is supported by most phones”
25, female, Brazil: “It’s the fastest and you have the ability to send pictures and files”
22, male, Mexico: “All my friends have this app on their phones”