Over the past two years, mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp and SnapChat have become some of the most popular mobile apps around. Signs are even appearing that the messaging app segment may be taking the place of traditional social media among teens and young people.
In addition to social media, messaging apps are also challenging traditional SMS and MMS as the messaging vehicles of choice on mobile platforms. Market research firm Juniper Research today issued a report predicting that messaging apps will make up three-quarters of the entire mobile messaging market by 2018. This would account for an estimated 63 trillion messages.
This doesn't mean, though, that messaging apps will be making the billions that were raked in for overpriced SMS. Juniper estimates that even though these apps will make up 75% of the market they will only bring in 2% of the revenue generated by the mobile messaging market - about $3 billion.
This relatively low revenue may be due to a number of factors. The report points out that messaging apps are often used in conjunction with images, emoticons, and other filler that doesn't convey a message as efficiently as an SMS could. Juniper also found that young people are more likely to use multiple messaging apps on the same device.
To increase revenue, the report sees messaging apps using a wide variety of monetization schemes. Though advertising and subscriptions add provide constant revenue, other apps may experiment with games and microtransactions to effectively monetize their high volume of messages.
Image via WhatsApp