It would be easy to assume that Facebook Messenger or Apple’s iMessage are in a natural position to reach global dominance in smartphone messaging. But the reality is that the landscape looks very different and is very fragmented — at least for now.
There are plenty of apps, WhatsApp included, that have tens of millions of users or dominant marketshare in their home countries of Korea, Japan or China.
I pulled some marketshare data from Onavo, a Sequoia-backed company that has data compression and usage apps that a few million users have installed on their phones. They’re able to see active usage for hundreds of thousands of apps, and the company isn’t beholden to the same confidentiality agreements that many mobile analytics companies have with their developer clients.
The chart above shows the percentage of iPhone owners in every country that are active users of different messaging apps. This isn’t…
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