In this article we are going to list the 15 most popular instant messaging apps. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 most popular instant messaging apps. I am sure many of the people who are reading this article remember the days of MSN Messenger, which was the first popular instant messaging app used across the world. The messenger service was established in 1999, and for the next decade or so, was by far the best means of communication for everyone. I was 12 when I started using it, and I remember the painstakingly created usernames which we all cringe at now, but just how fun it was to come home from school and later be in contact with each other through messenger. Of course, all of this was before the advent of mobile phones and especially smart mobile phones. And even when phones were invented, at least in my country, the text and calling packages were quite expensive because of which we preferred MSN Messenger, which later became Messenger Live.
I’m sure many of you also remember signing out and then singing back in again, just to send a notification across to your chat list and attracting the attention of specific people. Most of us remember those times with fond nostalgia because they were as simple as simple could be. The service finally came to an end in 2013, and reached a peak in 2009, when there were 330 million active users, or more than the population of the United States. The closest competition the services had in those years was Yahoo! Messenger, operated by Yahoo! and was quite popular too, but also does not exist anymore.
The difference between that time and now is the development of technology to the extent that it has become quite cheap. While at the time even basic cell phones were quite expensive, now most smart phones are cheap enough up to the fact that 2.7 billion people use smartphones across the world, which is why apps have now become the biggest thing rather than desktop messenger services. New apps have been developed over the past decade or so which make MSN’s usage number look quaint. Imagine 2 billion people using the same instant messaging. The numbers are absolutely mind boggling, showing us the widespread usage of instant messaging services, as people can instantly connect up with friends and family, even as the world becomes more globalized. Living in a developing country, it was quite rare for people to move abroad in the previous decades but now, many more people move than they used to and keeping in touch with them or in contact with them has never been easier as well. This is perhaps the biggest reason why the most popular instant messaging apps are such a hit, due to the growing market. But of course, it’s not just about keeping in touch with those who don’t live near you. It is much easier to use a free service to text, call or video call a person and the free part is why these things are so incredibly popular.
WhatsApp is not the only instant messaging app which has a lot of users. There are several others with hundreds of millions of users and have been at the top for many years. To determine our list, we initially considered the research done by Data Reportal, which shows statistics for the most used social media apps. Where the numbers weren’t mentioned in the Data Reportal statistics, we searched separately for their active monthly users and finalize our list. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the apps that are more than likely to be on your phone right now, starting with number 15:
Total number of active monthly users in 2020 (in millions of people): 6.7
Discord was created 6 years ago in 2015 and was developed by Discord Inc. While it has 6.7 million monthly active users, it has more than 250 million users overall, and you can be sure these numbers will grow further in the near future.