Early this year, we reported about Telegram's growth and asked if Whatsapp should be wary of it? The way Whatsapp has taken off and the direction in which it is heading, it looks tough for anyone else to beat them but Telegram has something interesting to report as well. Telegram, the instant messaging app from VK (the Facebook of Russia) has reached a new milestone – over 1 billion messages are delivered daily. There are now 50 million active users, and Telegram claims to be adding 1 million new signups each week. They write on their blog,
This is insane. 16 months ago Telegram didn't exist, and today it is used by millions of people all over the world – from Spain and Brazil to Malaysia and South Korea. We spent $0 on advertising Telegram and trusted you – our users – to spread the word. The results are amazing and are entirely your achievement. Thank you!
On the other hand, the last public update from Whatsapp came in April where they reported 500 million active users from across the globe. The team at Whatsapp shared,
In the last few months, we've grown fastest in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, and our users are also sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day.
Closer to home, Hike is a homegrown messaging app that has also reported promising numbers. Their last update came in August where they claimed to have 35 million users (no mention of active users) handling over 10 billion messages per month and over 3 billion stickers per month. Hike has thrived because of the local language stickers they introduced to drive growth regionally. Hike last raised $65 million and is intensifying activity to grab a bigger pie.
We carried out a poll on YourStory's Facebook page last month which clearly showed Whatsapp haas a huge upper hand:
The results of this poll might be a bit biased since the users fall under a certain demographic and the likes of Telegram and Hike are driving traction of regions where the users are new to technology. Security was the biggest push for Telegram but Whatsapp recently came up with an update and claims to be the most secure. Growth has been very organic for both Whatsapp and Telegram and the future of communication depends a lot on how these messaging products evolve.
With mobile becoming the primary screen (attend MobileSparks for everything mobile), adoption of messaging apps has picked up and has also given a rise to multiple companies like Haptik which is the Whatsapp for businesses, Bhavin Turakhia's Flock which is a messaging app for companies, etc. Stay tuned for action!