Mobile messaging apps are defined as services that provide private one-to-one or one-to-many communication between registered users, where messages and calls are then transmitted via data connections on the mobile web. Most mobile messaging apps are known as over-the-top.
OTT messaging is provided by a third party as an alternative over the top of what is being offered by the mobile or cellular carrier and does not require cellular service. By using a mobile messaging app that uses internet data instead of SMS, users are able to avoid the per-text fees of cell phone carriers. This was particularly important for international communication as mobile messaging apps helped both parties avoid international texting and calling costs.
Other advantages that mobile messaging apps have over SMS, besides cost, include the speed at which messages are sent and received, the ability to set read notifications, location sharing, communication without cellular service and in some cases integration with desktop chatting which allows for seamless communication using different devices and platforms.
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Data were driven by GlobalWebIndex’s Q3 2018 wave of research across the following markets, with a global sample of 113,932 respondents, which yielded 13,927 LINE app users, 55,915 Facebook Messenger app users, 14,308 Skype app users, 24,125 Snapchat users, 11,119 Viber app users, 54,262 WhatsApp users outside of China as well as 26,286 WeChat users globally. Data regarding specific apps and named social platforms excludes respondents in China, bringing the total sample to 98,011.
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