As conversational marketing rises in popularity, businesses looking to engage with consumers and form genuine connections with them are going to have to start meeting them and communicating with them where they’re at: messaging apps.

According to the latest data, as of October 2021, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world, with two billion monthly active users. 

The chat app’s user base has been growing quickly and consistently over the years. In fact, in 2017, there were one million WhatsApp users, half of what there is now.

The large majority of WhatsApp users are located in India. This is followed by Brazil, Indonesia, the United States, and Russia.

After WhatsApp, the second-most used messaging app is Facebook Messenger. It has 1.3 billion active users globally, about two-thirds that of WhatsApp’s.

Incidentally, both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are owned by the same company, Meta (formerly known as Facebook). 

The third-most popular messaging app in the world is WeChat, more commonly known as Weixin in China. Worldwide, there are 1.25 billion WeChat users, just a fraction less than the total number of Facebook Messenger users.

WeChat users are also predominantly located in China. Nevertheless, an increasing number of businesses based outside of China are starting to sign up for the app. That’s because Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are hard to access in China, which makes WeChat a much more efficient way to reach the massive Chinese market.

Not only are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat the most popular messaging apps in the world, they’re also the only ones with more than one billion monthly active users.

The fourth-most used messaging app is QQ, with 591 million users. Both WeChat and QQ are owned by Chinese tech firm Tencent, referred to as “China’s Facebook” by some market analysts.

Fifth on the list of the top messaging apps worldwide is Telegram, with 550 million users. The cloud-based chat app has seen its user base grow steadily in recent years. Telegram saw an influx of 70 million new users in October 2021, on the day Facebook suffered an outage that affected both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Last but not least, Snapchat is the sixth-most popular messaging app in the world, with 538 million users.

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