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WhatsApp trails rivals in global app usage

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Tim Ferguson


Messaging app WhatsApp was behind alternatives WeChat/Weixin and Facebook Messenger in a list of the world’s most-used apps, compiled by internet market research firm GlobalWebIndex.

WhatsApp was ranked in ninth spot for the past month, being used by 17 per cent of users globally.

Weixin/WeChat, made by Chinese company Tencent, was ranked fifth, being used by 27 per cent of the smartphone population, while Facebook Messenger was in equal sixth place with 22 per cent usage.

WeChat’s ranking is even more impressive given that its use is largely limited to China, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The most-used mobile app globally was Google Maps with 54 per cent of the 969.49 million strong global smartphone population making use of its features, the survey said.

GlobalWebIndex attributed the dominance of Google Maps to the fact that it is “the go-to solution for lost and confused consumers” (although the fact that it is pre-installed on many Android devices must also be a factor). In comparison, Nokia’s Ovi Maps was ranked in eleventh place with 9 per cent of users.

Facebook had two other apps in the top 10, with its main mobile app in second place (44 per cent) and photo sharing app Instagram in tenth place with 11 per cent. Google was also well represented with YouTube in third place (35 per cent) and Google+ in fourth place with 30 per cent.

Twitter’s mobile app was ranked equal sixth with 22 per cent of active users, tied with Skype and Facebook Messenger.

Apps outside the top 10 included Twitter’s Vine video app, ranked seventeenth with 2 per cent of the smartphone population accessing it in the past month. Foursquare, Shazam, Flickr and Yelp were all ranked higher.


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  • TomHunter2

    There are some many great messaging apps out there, and it will be interesting to see which services and new features gain market share. Many other good messaging apps can be found on messaging-apps.com by the way.

  • John_Murphy

    BlackBerry (BB) should have done this a year ago. This might have helped the brand win the race among other smartphones.