June 2013

Smartphone 'messengers' or 'chat' apps are the fastest growing segment on mobile in several markets in Asia Pacific, most notably in India, Indonesia and Thailand. In the US, however, the Chat category stands at 50% reach showing no movement over the last year.

But scratch the surface a little and there is a lot brewing underneath. Facebook Messenger emerged the most popular app dethroning Google Talk. But the surprise package has been Kik which shows an 800%+ increase in reach. Kik hit a 50 million user base in April this year. The appís latest update introduced a new concept - 'Kik cards', an HTML 5 based applet which lets users play, share, draw, search etc. without leaving the apps interface. The concept has worked well resulting in improved engagement with users spending 12 mins on the app per day.

The traditional and more popular chat apps like Google Talk and Skype have shown de-growth. And WhatsApp which is extremely popular app in the Asia Pacific region, hasnít shown as much traction in the US.

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