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Instant messaging applications are making their way in Latin America. Consumers were introduced to text messaging via cellphones; SMS prices dropped about a decade ago, and texting surged. Then came BlackBerry Messenger (aka, BBM), an instant messaging app that dominated Latin American markets thanks to the tight security measures it offered to corporate users of the leading manufacturer in the early years of the smartphone. But with the rise of Android and iOS, myriad new options have emerged around the globe. Most notable among those services is WhatsApp. Founded in 2009 and acquired by Facebook in early 2014, the company announced it reached 600 million users in August 2014.
A previous announcement by WhatsApp noted that Brazil, India, Mexico and Russia were its fastest-growing markets.
Argentina, while not highlighted in recent WhatsApp blog posts, appears to be another success story for the instant messaging service in Latin America. According to Carrier y Asociados, WhatsApp was the leading mobile communication channel in the country in May 2014, with 84% of mobile phone internet users saying they accessed it. That figure works out to about 11 million WhatsApp users, based on eMarketer’s mobile phone internet user estimate of 13.1 million in Argentina this year.
Not only did WhatsApp leave parent company Facebook (70%) in second place, it also left the competition biting the dust. According to the same report, Twitter and BBM accrued penetration rates of only 21% and 16%, respectively, among mobile phone internet users in Argentina during the same period.
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