Meta is hosting its first ever Conversations event today, where it will reportedly make announcements regarding WhatsApp and Messenger as well as Instagram Direct. Whatever updates it announces will undoubtedly affect a large audience, as WhatsApp and Messenger are two of the most used messaging platforms in the world—and according to Sensor Tower Consumer Intelligence, WhatsApp devotees are extremely active. Sensor Tower’s data reveals that 55 percent of WhatsApp’s monthly active users (MAUs) used the app every single day in Q1 2022.
Using our forthcoming Power User Curve feature (part of Sensor Tower’s Consumer Intelligence product), we analyzed usage among active Android installs of these apps worldwide. In 1Q22, 55 percent of WhatsApp’s MAUs were “power users” who engaged with the app every day, up 16 percentage points from the year-ago period. WhatsApp saw the highest percentage of power users among the top apps studied, as well as the largest year-over-year increase in this cohort.
WhatsApp and Telegram both saw a spike in their apps being engaged with every day by MAUs in February due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For the entire first quarter, Telegram saw 15.5 percent of its MAUs open the app each day, up from 9 percent in Q1 2021.
After WhatsApp, LINE saw the greatest percentage of MAUs engaging with the app every day of the month at 45 percent in 1Q22, up 10 points from 35 percent in 1Q21. Messenger saw the third highest, with 16.4 percent of its MAUs using the app each day in 1Q22, up from approximately 12 percent a year ago.
Sensor Tower also studied the top 10 most used messaging apps in the United States. While WhatsApp and Messenger were the most used messaging apps in the U.S. by a healthy margin in 1Q22, Sensor Tower Usage Intelligence data reveals that competitors have grown their market share over the past two years. In 1Q22, Meta’s apps represented 78 percent of usage, with its competitors in the top 10 obtaining 22 percent—up 8 points from 14 percent market share in Q1 2020.
Among Meta’s competitors in the U.S., Discord saw the most growth year-over-year in 1Q22 as well as compared to 1Q20. The service’s mobile app saw a surge in usage during the onset of the pandemic, and this continued into 1Q21 when it grew 138 percent Y/Y. In this past quarter, Discord’s mobile usage remained at an all-time high, climbing 192 percent when compared to 1Q20.
Aside from Discord, Signal and Telegram saw the most growth, contributing to the increase in market share from Meta’s messaging rivals. Signal’s mobile usage in 1Q22 was up 148 percent compared to 1Q20, while Telegram’s was up 110 percent comparing the same two periods.
Technical improvements are the most common requests in reviews of Messenger and WhatsApp on the U.S. App Store so far this year. Of the 1,950 Messenger reviews studied, approximately 14 percent flagged difficulties with logging in while nearly 11 percent included mentions of not being able to receive or send messages.
Notifications not functioning as intended was the most common concern raised in the 2,947 WhatsApp reviews studied.
Although WhatsApp and Messenger are leading platforms in the U.S. as well as worldwide, the retention seen by apps such as Discord and Telegram reveal that consumers are willing to experiment with different platforms and even switch in some instances. Meta intends to reclaim any ground it has yielded to competitors in recent years, and as indicated by the inaugural Conversations event, plans to do so at least in part by building out the feature set of its platforms.