Messaging and chat are exploding. Messaging apps have more users today than ‘traditional’ social media platforms.

Five years ago, the number of monthly active users (MAUs) on the top four messaging apps (WhatsApp, WeChat, Messenger and Viber) surpassed the number of MAUs of the top four social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn).

In February 2020, WhatsApp announced it had 2 billion users. Although Instagram is a growth platform with a billion users, according to social media platform data from We Are Social and Hootsuite, it still is not as popular as Messenger, WeChat or WhatsApp.

This briefing covers messaging trends during lockdown, growth of popular new apps, and wider trends in the space. and is an edited version of a section in Econsultancy’s new Social Media Platforms Trends report, authored by Michelle Goodall.

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