There are plenty of instant messaging apps available at the moment. There is WhatsApp, Line, Viber, Skype, WeChat, ChatOn, BBM, and etc. just to name a few. However at the moment WhatsApp is probably one of the more dominant messaging apps available out there, which could explain Facebook’s interest in the company.
However according to recent numbers released by Tencent, WeChat’s parent company, it seems that WeChat is slowly but surely catching up to WhatsApp.
As it stands WhatsApp is currently home to 450 million active users and are experiencing a growth of 1 million new signups per day. WeChat does not appear to be too far behind as Tencent has revealed that the combined active users of WeChat and Weixin (China version of WeChat) are around the 355 million mark towards the end of 2013.
In fact this number is an increase of 121% year-on-year and is up 6% quarter-on-quarter. Tencent however did not breakdown the numbers to show which market WeChat is dominating in, but it is safe to assume that China is probably one of WeChat’s biggest user base, and given China’s population and the growth of smartphones in the country, it’s safe to say that it is only a matter of time before WeChat will be able to see WhatsApp’s numbers.
WeChat also has the advantage over WhatsApp by offering more services, such as games. At the moment WhatsApp is pretty much your standard instant messaging app with the ability to send photos, videos, voice clips, and location information. WhatsApp is also tipped to be receiving an update in the near future that would give it VOIP capabilities as well, adding on to the features list. Will WeChat be able to overtake WhatsApp? We guess only time will tell.