Back in early August Mashable did some research on the most used apps in the world. Whilst there were few surprises in terms of those in the top 10, the order in which they were placed may make you raise an eyebrow.
We would all guess that Facebook, Twitter, Skype, YouTube and Instagram would be amongst the top 10, but which app is used more than any other?
The answer is Google Maps, with Facebook second and YouTube third. The growing popularity of Google + pushed that app into fourth place. Twitter was sixth, followed by Skype, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
From this it is clear that social media and keeping in touch remain the key reasons why people use apps on their phones. It seems that calling and texting are being replaced by a number of different messaging apps. Google Maps is the only app in the top 10 not to be used for messaging or social media. Perhaps it was propelled to the top following the ill-fated launch of Apple’s Mapping service? More likely is that directions and navigation have moved from the traditional paper map and SATNAV across to the mobile phone as the navigation and location capabilities of smartphones have got more accurate.
The app in fifth place was Weixin or WeChat. Hugely popular, initially in China and then across India and other territories, WeChat may not have the brand recognition in Europe or the US of the likes of kik, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, but it quickly built a loyal following of more than 300 million users by January 2013.
By August 2013, WeChat had amassed more than 100 million users outside of China and recruited Lionel Messi as a brand ambassador.
With global presence and a growth in subscriber numbers that any app would die for, expect WeChat to continue to rise up the most used apps chart during 2013 and beyond. It may not yet be as popular as Facebook but it remains ahead of Twitter, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp and can therefore claim to be the most popular messaging app in the world.