Ever wondered which (Android) chat app is the most popular in the world?

Ever wondered which (Android) chat app is the most popular in the world?
Nowadays, when it comes to chat apps, we definitely have a rich pool to choose from. Once upon a time, it was simply Facebook Messenger and possibly Skype that served our texting needs. Today, we have WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, Hangouts, and so many others, not to mention hybrid apps such as Snapchat, which are a mix between social media and private messengers.

Which apps you use mainly relies on what most of your friends are using — you may be a huge fan of Telegram, but if all your contacts insist on using WhatsApp as their main chatting tool, you'd be hard-pressed to dissuade them. Imagine how hard it is for up-and-coming messengers to actually gain any type of momentum! So, when it comes to you, you are probably acutely aware which the most popular apps in your immediate circles are. But have you ever wondered which ones are most popular overall?

Well, ranking and insights company SimilarWeb was wondering the same. So, the company gathered data from Android handsets in 187 countries worldwide in order to find the answer. And, it turns out that the most popular app on Android smartphones worldwide is... drum roll, please... WhatsApp!

While Facebook's Messenger still holds steady ground in countries such as the USA, Canada, in Oceania, and some larger countries in Europe, such as Germany and France, WhatsApp is a clear winner in South America, most of Africa, China, and Russia, which easily pushes it to the top of the global rankings.

We wouldn't feel bad about Facebook, however, as we recall that the company actually bought WhatsApp a while ago (for $21.8 billion, at that), effectively reinforcing the “If you can't beat them – buy them” rule in advance.

Further down the list, we have Viber on third and Telegram — the app that heavily markets itself with its end-to-end encryption — is down on 6th place. Interestingly, Samsung's ChatON is still the most popular chat app in Eritrea, Africa, despite the fact that the chat was supposed to stop its services worldwide a year ago, according to Samsung. Apparently, there was a change in plans, as ChatON is still alive and well on the Play Store.

Here is the full pie chart, which shows WhatsApp's dominance in its full glory:

source: SimilarWeb via Ubergizmo



1. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Greenland is HUGE! Literally. At least according to the map, it appears as large as Canada, which is 4-5x as large.

10. pixel8or

Posts: 84; Member since: Jun 10, 2010

31. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Bear in mind the map has shown only for Android device, if you add iOS user on the list, Europe and North America map colour will change to even more green. As iOS still prefer more on WhatsApp

2. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

I'm surprised some still use BBM. Most of my friend already moved on from BBM to What's App or Line.

17. buccob

Posts: 2981; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Whatsapp success is easily explainable... when BlackBerry was still popular but declining in sales, Whatsapp was one of the few services that was offered cross platforms and worldwide... so people with a BB phone could easily install it and continue to keep in contact with non-BB users... So when the majority shifted for Android and iOS devices, the fastest growing chat service was Whatsapp, with many lingering as a second choice such as (Line, Kakao, Kik, even Microsoft Messenger) The mistake from BlackBerry was NOT offering its BBM service cross platform when they had the chance to make it popular.... if they did, maybe that would be #2 (or even #1) right now... As for Facebook Messenger, the strategy was to force people downloading the app if you wanted to keep in touch, instead of the already built-in messaging service from the main FB app... Viber became popular for its calling capabilities and its Whatsapp design language, but after others (including Whatsapp) followed, the app became redundant... I HATE redundancy on my devices, so if I can keep in touch with all of my friends and acquaintances without extra apps, then I will be happy... Maybe that is why I mostly dislike Samsung devices, they come packed with redundant apps such as Chat On... it's a joke...

25. Rafishant

Posts: 408; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

Just look at the graph.. BBM is only popular in Indonesia. It is almost dead everywhere!.

3. TBomb

Posts: 1705; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

IS this based on population, number of messages sent, number of downloads, or did it just take the number of countries and give each one a count of 1 for the pie chart at the bottom?

26. Rafishant

Posts: 408; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

Downloads... Read the report details

29. TBomb

Posts: 1705; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

getting a notifcation that you told me was a lot easier :D

30. TBomb

Posts: 1705; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

thank you by the way...

4. FluffyBled unregistered

I hate Viber >.>, anyway can't wait to see Allo's impact on the pie!

5. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

Allo will be legend..... wait for it..... dary

9. Unordinary unregistered

That's what everyone said about Hangouts, lmao. Didnt even make the list.

19. sgodsell

Posts: 7606; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Hangouts is mainly noted for video chat. Not a texting chat. There is a huge difference. Why is Skype not on the list either. If they did a pole on video chats, then hangouts and others would be on the list.

28. buccob

Posts: 2981; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I'm not so sure about it... I mean Hangouts is the continuation of Google Talk, which was a service available on even old BB devices... when they integrated, the app was not very good and Google has never known how to market their products properly (at least not the way Apple or Samsung do)... Even with SMS functionality (but not by default) many people where I live don't even know Hangouts exists... only my close relatives use it, mostly because of me... but ordinary folks will use whatever is by default on their phones (+ the most popular app Whatsapp)... On the iPhone is a bit different because the iMessage was integrated by default and people would use it along with SMS... and that is what Google or other Manufacturers should have done (not just with Nexuses)...

21. justrt

Posts: 446; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

Allo will be a failure. Too late for it!

6. MichiGo

Posts: 173; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

As expected. Americans do not use Whatsapp because they do not need it. The phone plans there are far more reasonable.

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Not sure what you meant with more reasonable phone plans, but in my country Whatsapp is huge despite most people having unlimited texting.

22. justrt

Posts: 446; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

+ Whatsapp's strategy is to be substitute for texting. Since iPhone has a great impact (therefore iMessage), Whatsapp remains in the background.

27. Rafishant

Posts: 408; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

WhatsApp is the second largest popular IM app in the US after Facbook Messenger.

7. rkoforever90

Posts: 487; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

I never heard of telegram app

8. ECPirate37

Posts: 349; Member since: Jul 14, 2011

China uses WeChat more than WhatsApp.

11. Chuck007

Posts: 1419; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

No doh it's banned there lol


Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

From where did you get your info. Whatsapp works in China but Wechat is number 1 there.

12. TmoRep

Posts: 107; Member since: Apr 20, 2016

Is Snap chat too small to make this list or is it not in the right genre.

14. paul.k

Posts: 305; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

It was probably not considered as a messenger app in the count. You have to draw the line somewhere, otherwise even Twitter would have to be counted since it has DMs. And Reddit... and who knows what else.

18. FrenchGuy

Posts: 134; Member since: Dec 12, 2014

Hi Paul! You made a mistake in that part: "While Facebook's Messenger still holds steady ground in countries such as the USA, Canada, in Oceania, and some larger countries in Europe, such as GERMANY and France" Actually, it is not Germany but Poland according to the picture.

13. XDAdam

Posts: 276; Member since: Feb 03, 2016

At first, I read Messenger as Google Messenger... not Facebook Messenger.

32. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

I'll use FB Messenger as an example, that's why it's not popular in Iran because it's banned there, if not for the ban, Telegram is nothing

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