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Technology  9, Jan 2014

With 76% reach Whatsapp emerges leader in Indian app economy

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WhatsApp tops the charts, leading in engagement and penetration; Google Play, Google Search follow, says Informate Mobile Intelligence report

Image Courtesy: Shutterstock.com

An application for everything – right from monitoring your teeth brushing habits to managing your finance! In such a vast mobile applications economy, who do you think managed to win hearts in the Indian market?

According to a report by Informate Mobile Intelligence, the top 10 mobile applications (in order of ranking) used in India are WhatsApp, Google Play, Google Search, Gmail, Facebook, Google Maps, YouTube, Truecaller, Hangouts and WeChat.

Invincible WhatsApp
WhatsApp has been a perfect example of the adage ‘Early bird catches the worm’. Being one of the first mobile messengers in the country, WhatsApp refuses to leave the number one position among mobile applications in India.

The report states that WhatsApp is the number one application in India with a reach of 76 per cent. The messenger tops even in the chat apps segment. A number of chat messengers such as Hike, LINE, Viber and WeChat entered the Indian market with extensive marketing, but none have managed to dethrone WhatsApp yet. The first mover advantage seems to have worked for WhatsApp as it leads in penetration and engagement, says the report.

Followed by WhatsApp in the chat applications segment is Google Hangouts, with a distant 25 per cent reach, while WeChat has a reach of 22 per cent, and Facebook Messenger has a reach of 16 per cent in the country.

LINE, which has managed to create ripples in Asia, has achieved a reach of only 14 per cent in India. Followed by LINE are Viber App and BBM with 12 per cent reach each. Hike comes next with a reach of 11 per cent and ChatOn and Skype are at the bottom of the list with 10 per cent reach each.

Read Also: LINE expands further in India with new Hindi website and TV commercial

The world of Google!
Just when you think Google cannot outdo itself anymore, the internet giant manages to surprise. As per the report, six out of top 10 applications used in India belong to Google.

Google Play holds the second position with a reach of 70 per cent in the Indian market. Close behind the Play Store application comes Google Search with a reach of 57 per cent, and then Gmail with a reach of 53 per cent.

Google Maps, YouTube and Google Hangout applications follow with a reach of 49 per cent, 33 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

Chat away!
Mobile messenger applications have changed the dynamics of mobile communication completely in the last few years. As stated above, three out the top 10 apps in India are mobile chat applications, namely, WhatsApp, Hangouts and WeChat.

As per the report, chat as a mobile application category has witnessed dramatic upswing, with almost 90 per cent of smartphone users using some chat application or the other. Engagement for this category has also grown by almost 60 per cent as compared to last year.

The reach of chat applications grew from 70 per cent in November 2012 to 86 per cent in November 2013.

Chat messengers have maximum reach (94 per cent) in the 18-24 years age group, followed by the 25-30 years age group with a reach of 87 per cent.

The older age group audience is also now seen boarding the chat messenger ship. Mobile chat apps have managed to create a reach of 81 per cent in the 40 plus age group.

Read Also: Is WhatsApp moving away from the “simple” messaging model?

Last year was a defining year for mobile applications economy in India mainly due to the increasing penetration of smartphones and cheaper data plans. Looking forward to seeing how 2014 takes it to the next level.

Saloni Surti

Saloni Surti

A writer by heart, Saloni loves pouring words about anything and everything under this sky. Short stories and philosophy writing come to her naturally.

  • John

    Hi Saloni, nice read on the OTT landscape in India. Just wanted to understand, what do you mean.. when you say.. 76% reach? Does it mean, 76% of the smartphone penetration? Do you have specific number of users in India for these OTT application?

  • Saloni Surti

    Hi John, I am very glad you liked the article. Yes, we mean 76 per cent smartphone reach. We can share with you the source of this information. Please share your e-mail id or write to me at saloni@e27.co.

  • Rakesh

    hey Saloni useful information and insights. Can you throw some more light on the demographics of the Messaging services in India (Age Group) – please email me @ rakesh.mbc@gmail.com..

  • Suren

    Hi Rakesh,

    You can have a look at this article, which will give you a sense of the messaging apps in India. It’s also got an infographic, which talks about the numbers in India http://e27.co/does-viber-have-the-potential-to-be-no-1-in-india/

    – Editor

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