Smartphone users flock to mobile IM/chat apps

Google’s rumored bid to acquire mobile instant messaging app Whatsapp for $1 billion is yet the latest evidence that this category of mobile apps is heating up as smartphone users flock to mobile IM and chat apps as an alternative means of communication. According to the first full release of Simmons ConnectSM, 23% of adult smartphone users today access mobile IM or chat apps like Kik Messenger, Whatsapp and Google Talk during a typical week.

…mobile IM/chat apps are 30% more likely than the average smartphone owner to say that they would be interested in receiving advertisements on their phone.

While those numbers may pale in comparison to traditional texting—90% of smartphone owners text each week—marketers should keep mobile IM/chat apps on their radar given the fact that many apps in this category are ad-supported and users are especially open to mobile advertising. In fact, Simmons Connect reveals that users of mobile IM/chat apps are 30% more likely than the average smartphone owner to say that they would be interested in receiving advertisements on their phone.

Here are some other things you should know about users of mobile IM/chat apps:

Frequency and time spent:

  • During a given week, the average mobile IMer/chatter opens these apps a total of 20 times and spends 12 minutes and 42 seconds IMing or chatting.Number of IM/chat app opens per week

Android versus iOS users:

  • Android phone owners are 2.4 times more likely than iPhone owners to use mobile IM/chat apps, but iPhone owners open the apps more often and spend more time within them.
    Time spent per week using IM/chat apps by mobile operating system

A day in the life:

  • Use of mobile IM/chat apps is highest on weekdays between 5:00 and 10:00 PM with peak weekly usage taking place between 8:00 and 9:00 PM on Thursdays.
    Percent of mobile IM/chat users accessing IM/chat apps by time of day

Media multi-tasking:

  • While watching TV, 72% of mobile IM/chat users say they are often texting or chatting on their phone.
    Frequency that mobile IM/chat users send messages from their phone while watching TV


The findings shared in this blog post come from Simmons Connect, an industry-first media planning and consumer profiling tool links more than 60,000 consumer elements to detailed insights on consumers’ use of 11 traditional and digital media platforms. Learn more about Simmons Connect.

Learn more about the author,

Tags: | |

About Marketing Forward

Marketing Forward is more than a name, it’s a quest. Through data-driven insights, news articles and thought pieces, our experts share their perspectives on the latest marketing and consumer trends, keeping you informed and inspired to think differently and push your marketing strategy forward.

2015 Digital Marketer

2015 Digital Marketer Report

Everything you need to know about digital marketing: 1,000 global marketers give best practice examples and insights on the latest trends.

Download the report now >>

Latest Tweets