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Facebook Messenger facing an uphill climb against other mobile chat apps in many markets

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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Facebook Messenger facing an uphill climb against other mobile chat apps in many markets
Across many developing markets, where messaging applications are a booming business, Facebook and its Messenger is seeing a decline in usage.

Africa as a whole holds massive potential in growth markets, as well as a fair amount of organic development in communications technology. WhatsApp is popular as one might expect, and that is a feather in Facebook’s cap, but other platforms are seeing wild growth as well, at Facebook Messenger’s expense.

South Africa based 2go Mobile Messenger for Android smartphones and feature phones has seen explosive growth across South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, surpassing 20 million users in less than two years, and that was before the company had an Android compatible application.

“We did see a decrease in daily users, particularly among younger teens,” according to Facebook CFO David Ebersman. His comments were based on usage patterns from the middle quarters of 2013. Based on surveys across 30 countries, Facebook activity fell 76% from the first quarter of 2013 to the third quarter.

The standard model would indicate that this is because younger users are always looking for something new, so they are inattentive to stick with any one platform. However, messenger platforms like 2go are also popular because of the feature phone availability which ensures competent performance on slower bandwidth 2G networks. In Nigeria for example, out of a population of 170 million, 105 million have a mobile phone, and only 25% of those have a smartphone.

Facebook sees a correlation of growing data penetration with use of its social network and messenger platform. Nicola D’Elia, Facebook’s growth manager for Africa is focused on mobile, “Growth will come where we are able to deliver the highest data penetration and in sub-Saharan Africa it is definitely through Mobile.”

source: Tarifica

12 Comments
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posted on 03 May 2014, 16:52 1

1. nokia12 (Posts: 351; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)


maybe there is just too much competition in messengers as opposed to websites..

something better will come along and replace facebook..

posted on 03 May 2014, 16:53 1

2. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3737; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


They should rename it to "NSA Messenger".

Once people knew that their messages would go directly to the NSA, I'm sure informants, drug dealers (feeding false info to the cops), and many others would start using it. Maybe even intelligence agency buddies would use it, i.e. MI5 blokes could chat with their buds at the NSA.

posted on 03 May 2014, 17:06 2

3. sip1995 (Posts: 942; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


N$A messenger, the messenger that learns FROM you.....FOR you.

posted on 03 May 2014, 17:31 1

4. slaggyb (Posts: 192; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Maxwell I don't know were you get your own percentage from. Saying only 25% of Nigerians own a smartphone is just incompetent. I guess blackberry smartphones are not smartphones in your own world.

posted on 03 May 2014, 18:37 3

6. Maxwell.R (Posts: 175; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)


That is still north of 25 million users out of the given subscriber base. There are roughly 70 million BlackBerry users in the whole world, are you really going to try and say there are more than a few million BlackBerry users in Nigeria? That figure was somewhere around 4 million in 2012, out of maybe 10 million smartphone users. One year ago, the *smartphone* market share made up about 10% of the subscriber base. The BlackBerry hold on the global market is declining.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-05-27/nigerian-smartphone-boom-sees-nokia-african-dominance-challenged

http://www.nairaland.com/1121517/nigerias-smartphone-users-own-blackberry

Our source and report are accurate.

posted on 03 May 2014, 19:09

7. npaladin2000 (Posts: 141; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


Given how reliant they are on Blackbery Services for their "smarts" then it would be entirely valid to not consider them smartphones.

posted on 03 May 2014, 17:34 1

5. D79_D79_ (Posts: 38; Member since: 19 Feb 2014)


I know one thing, FACEBOOK need to sort there messed up fb app out!

posted on 03 May 2014, 19:11 1

8. npaladin2000 (Posts: 141; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


FBM does have an advantage that they're not really pushing very hard: multiple logons from multiple devices. WhatsApp and a few others can't do that. It's handy: if I'm playing a game on my phone I can go answer a message from my tablet or PC instead.

posted on 04 May 2014, 21:58

12. buccob (Posts: 1563; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Completely agree.. I still wonder why Whatsapp hasn't done a Windows desktop app... or even a Website accessible service. My main use for Hangouts or FBM is when I am at my office and I need to write to my wife, who is at her office... it is just easier to write in both our computers since we are already staring at them...

Also it was #1 feature request for Airdroid... to implement Whatsapp compatibility... but for some reason it hasn't been done... (maybe at whatsapp's end)

posted on 03 May 2014, 19:50

9. AJagtiani (Posts: 466; Member since: 24 Apr 2014)


Just a general wondering, who was wendygarret on PA?

posted on 03 May 2014, 20:13

10. __0__ (banned) (Posts: 242; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


The only reason why I use FB Messenger : Chat heads
I find it weird that FB is forcing messenger down our throats as the main FB app handles messages just fine and iOS users doesn't need to install messenger to get Chat heads

posted on 04 May 2014, 06:01

11. Cyberchum (Posts: 281; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


2go what? I am on 2go, since two years now but my total active days won't even sum up to a month. Sure it was popular among my friends which was why I joined but I've never liked it because I saw, still see it to be much childish, the android app is much better though but I wouldn't use it over whatsapp or Facebook messenger though. It was also popular then because Facebook didn't, still doesn't have a good messenger app for feature phones but now that most people have androids, "no one" uses it anymore.
I personally likes Facebook messenger. I'm not paranoid because I'm not living in the US.

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