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Messaging Apps – A Platform Primed for Pushing Future Data Limits

by Prabhat Agarwal | Dec 11, 2016

Welcome to Strategy Analytics’ Second AppOptix blog, the aim of which is to post what I hope will be short, pithy, and interesting data bits pulled from the mountain of data captured in our mobile intelligence platform – AppOptix.

[Reader note: Because some readers may be unfamiliar with AppOptix, I’ve elected to include a summary of our mobile intelligence platform in these early edition blogs.]  With our AppOptix app, we capture every interaction (in near real time) that someone (on our proprietary panel) has with his/her mobile device – including device details, battery performance; apps usage, including what, when, how often and where they use them; and operator networks specifics. Here’s a link to an overview. With AppOptix - we possess the data on the digital mobile consumer.

In 2016, messaging apps established themselves as a pervasive communications platform – beyond the simplistic capabilities of yesteryear's – with development companies such as Facebook eager to make these apps the heart of an individual’s communications interactions with the world. I presently use my messaging app for receiving airline flight updates, completing product surveys, getting appointment updates/reminders, and receiving notifications at restaurants when my table is ready for seating. However, with the rise in texting (and now video messaging) stems the burden of increased network traffic.

To begin, the chart below identifies the average time a user spends per day on popular messaging apps, cut by connection type (cellular and Wifi) – data is from January 2016 to YTD. Before proceeding, an explanation about average session time is warranted – this average session time includes periods only when the user is using the app, but note that not everyone uses messaging apps every day (I certainly don’t). 

Avg Session Time For Messaging Apps

The chart below showcases the network traffic, by connection type, for each of the messaging apps. As expected, Wifi traffic isn’t just ahead of cellular in almost all instances (except WhatsApp); it’s almost double the amount in the case of Message+, Snapchat and WeChat. And in the case of Snapchat, data use is miles apart from virtually all other message apps.

Avg Data Use For Messaging Apps

We’ll continue to track the evolution of this strategically important space, particularly as top brands add new data-intensive features to their current product lines.  

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