Messaging Apps and Marketing 2018

Messaging Apps and Marketing 2018

Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and RCS Help Brands Connect with Customers

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

With the number of US mobile messaging app users on the rise, these chat apps have emerged as an important marketing channel. More than half of internet users in the country are using apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and the new texting standard RCS (Rich Communication Services). At the same time, marketers are still figuring out the best methods to employ when using this personalized connection.

How many mobile messaging app users are there in the US?

The number of US mobile messaging app users will reach 149.8 million in 2018, with that figure growing to 171.3 million by 2022, according to our estimates. The percentage of the US population using a messaging app will be 45.5% this year; by 2022 more than half of residents will use an app.

How many people in the US use Facebook Messenger?

Facebook Messenger remains the most popular messaging app in the country, with an expected 126.3 million users in 2018. That figure will swell to 138.1 million by 2022. This year, 38.4% of the US population will use Facebook Messenger; by 2022, 40.7% will do so.

How can marketers use Facebook Messenger?

Facebook Messenger now offers a few types of advertising, including display ads in the Messenger inbox, sponsored messages that can be sent by businesses, and click-to-Messenger ads that direct users from Facebook and Instagram to the platform. Messenger also offers a host of customer relations tools, and lets firms turn to chatbots to automate user interactions.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report provides an overview of the state of mobile messaging in the US, focusing on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. It also examines the new texting standard RCS, which will add many features unavailable on SMS.

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Rahul Chadha


Caroline Cakebread
Junior Analyst
Chris Keating
Research Director
Natalie McGranahan
Yoram Wurmser
Principal Analyst