The mobile messaging app study conducted by InMobi, an independent mobile advertising platform, to understand consumer behaviour of mobile messaging apps on smartphones in India showed that 95 per cent of mobile users in India access messaging apps multiple times a day. They are the preferred way of communication, bypassing even social networks and voice calls. The study was done between May and June 2014, covering 455 smartphone users in India.
Young mobile users in the age group 18-24 are leading the charge on using messaging apps. Interestingly, the older generation (35-44 years of age) is also taking to these apps, driven by their ease of use. The increased smartphone penetration in India is also contributing in greater access to mobile messaging apps. In an estimated 900 million users who are on mobile devices, nearly 10 per cent are already on smartphones.
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The research shows that Indian users prefer price points that range between INR 71 and INR 129 (approx. between US$1.1 and US$2.2) for making in-app purchases. In-app purchases are usually add-ons such as emoticons, games, stickers and virtual currency, among others. While one in five mobile internet users have already made an in-app purchase when using a mobile messaging/chat application, about 18 per cent are likely to consider it. One-third of the users make in-app purchases mainly to get additional features.
“A healthy average of three messaging apps per user indicates that messaging platforms are evolving into audience platforms that can be leveraged for entertainment and commerce. With 38 per cent of users likely to make a purchase on these platforms as well as a higher smartphone penetration, there will be an increase in offerings to enrich consumer experience. We also see advertisers using these platforms for emotional engagement as well as experimenting with launching services that they have already done in their home markets such as Japan and China. Mobile advertising has definitely shown its effectiveness over other media for user growth,” said Jayesh Easwaramony, Vice President and General Manager, APAC, Middle East and Africa, InMobi.
According to the study, the top five factors that influence download of mobile messaging apps are staying in touch with friends (44 per cent), sharing photos and videos (39 per cent), staying in touch with family (30 per cent), group messaging (21 per cent), and cost (18 percent).
Browsing app stores, word-of-mouth and mobile ads are the top three drivers of mobile messaging apps amongst users. TV and outdoor ads appear to have limited influence on driving adoption of mobile messaging apps.