Mobile networking is booming in the Asia Pacific region, with 46 percent of Internet users currently using mobile messaging apps, revealed market research firm GlobalWebIndex's (GWI).
According to GWI's recent study, key drivers to the surge in usage of mobile messaging apps included: the apps are free, they are easy to use, and lots of their friends are using them.
Out of the many messaging apps available in the market, WeChat was found to have the highest percentage of active users in the Asia Pacific region (39 percent), followed by Facebook Messenger (16 percent) and Skype (15 percent).
Focusing on Singapore specifically, WeChat (19 percent) is third most popular mobile messaging app, coming in after Facebook Messenger (30 percent) and WhatsApp (55 percent). However, GWI reported that WeChat's growth in the republic was significantly higher than the others as its active user base increased by 499 percent between the first and third quarter of 2014.
"WeChat has witnessed a remarkable growth rate during this period, with WeChat's efficient and entertaining platform continuing to attract users on a massive scale," Jason Mander, GWI's head of trends.
Profiles of WeChat users in Singapore
The research also revealed the characteristics of WeChat users in Singapore.
Youths made up the majority of WeChat users in the republic, with 16 to 34 year olds dominating nearly half of its user base. Understanding this, WeChat ensures that it constantly delivers an entertaining, interactive and social experience through numerous communication features and localised stickers to encourage its young users to loyally use the app.
Since WeChat users are mostly millennials who grew up in the Internet era, it was not surprising that most of them were found to be heavily reliant on the Internet. Almost three quarter (73 percent) of them claimed to be constantly connected online, and 80 percent of them said that they depend on the Internet when searching for more information.
WeChat users in Singapore were also found to highly value creativity (65 percent), and were more likely to try out new products (61 percent). To cater to these users, WeChat constantly strives to introduce fresh, new and innovative features to its messaging app.
Besides that, 56 percent of WeChat users claimed that they regularly inform their friends and family on new products and services. It is thus vital for WeChat to continue providing users with efficient tools to engage with their surroundings in a safe but fun way.
"We believe that WeChat's continued growth is a result of our continued efforts to revolutionise the way people connect with one another," said Poshu Yeung, vice president of the International Business Group at Tencent, the company behind WeChat. "GWI's latest findings are further testament to WeChat's strong and diverse offering to users."
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