WhatsApp has become the most popular mobile app in the world ahead of Facebook. It also shows that social media is evolving, with more and more different sharing and features being important to more and more people.
Facebook seems to have been overthrown in the mobile field. Okay, the fact that there was actually an “internal revolution” since, in addition to Instagram, the new mobile king, WhatsApp, is also owned by Facebook, so ultimately Zuckerberg and his team won’t sob around the pillow over the switch. But the many things indicate, or at least suggest, that WhatsApp is now the most popular mobile app, and not the leading Facebook, so far.
According to App Annie’s annual State of Mobile report, the number of WhatsApp’s monthly active users in September 2018 for the first time exceeded the number of Facebook’s active monthly users. Since then, Facebook hasn’t been able to regain first place on the world’s smartphones, though it doesn’t know exactly how far it lags behind WhatsApp in the popularity competition.
Unfortunately, Facebook has not detailed so much the success of its products in recent years. According to the latest official figures, WhatsApp had 1.5 billion monthly active users early last year. Facebook crossed the 2 billion mark back in 2017.
The 2018 average is still won by Facebook anyway, but in light of the changes, WhatsApp will be the leader in 2019 in terms of the average number as well. Despite the constant and growing security scandals, the popularity of Facebook and Facebook Messenger around the world in the meantime is unbroken, but it doesn’t hurt to look at the processes a little further.
On the one hand, the user base of social services “beyond Facebook” is constantly growing. In addition to Facebook, which has reached 2.6 billion users (but is now more stagnant), Instagram is being used by more and more people, for example, and the image-sharing service has also crossed the one-billion-dollar dream mark.
WhatsApp and Instagram are considered by many to be a playground and community forum for young people, for two reasons. One is that they feel really at home here because, as they say, “their parents and seniors are on Facebook.” On the other hand, these two apps prefer sharing that is much closer to them, visual, with little text but lots of visuals, which is much more a favorite of the younger age group. Both apps offer a lot of extras that can be used to “upload” shared images and videos, from polls to stickers to asking questions and other interactive tools.
What’s more, both apps add a lot to security in an area where only the people we allow are really visible here, and if we set ourselves completely private, no one can see our personal belongings, our circle of friends, beyond a stamp-sized profile picture. Temporary shares and stories, introduced later, help share momentary impressions so that they don’t have a trace within a day or two. Interestingly, while this type of use has become very popular on WhatsApp and Instagram, Facebook Stories are used much less.
So of course, Facebook isn’t falling towards the gap at all yet, plus at the ownership level, what’s lost on the ferry is coming back to customs – but a kind of change is already being quantified. Maybe in 10 years, when everyone is just communicating with sticky-filled images and small videos, we’ll see 2018 as “the beginning of change”.