Three of the five most popular mobile apps in Indonesia are messaging apps, according to January 2016 research from market research firm GfK. Low cost and convenience are contributing to their popularity, with the total number of messaging app users in Indonesia primed to see double-digit growth over the next three years.
Blackberry Messenger (BBM) remains the country’s most popular app, with a 90% reach according to GfK figures, while WhatsApp and LINE came in as the fourth- and fifth-most popular respectively.
eMarketer’s own forecasts reinforce the popularity of messaging apps in Indonesia. Based on November 2015 estimates, the country will have 62.6 million mobile phone messaging app users in 2016, representing 38.8% of all mobile phone users in the country. The country’s mobile phone messaging app user base will continue to grow at double digit rates for the foreseeable future, increasing to more than 81 million individuals by 2018.
The popularity of messaging app services in Indonesia is also a function of their low cost. Many consumers in emerging markets like Indonesia use such services to circumvent the high cost of wireless carrier fees for texts, sending their messages using mobile data or Wi-Fi connections instead. The rapid-fire nature of back-and-forth conversations conducted over such messaging apps also appears to increase their usage. According to more GfK research on the number of monthly app visits per user in Indonesia, BBM, WhatsApp and LINE surpassed all other apps by wide margins, with BBM alone receiving close to 500 visits.