More than one quarter of the world’s population will be using mobile messaging apps by 2019, according to a new forecast by eMarketer.
According to the report, mobile phone messaging apps will be used worldwide by more than 1.4 billion people in 2016, up almost 16%.
By the end of the forecast period in 2019 more than a quarter (26.7%, approximately two billion) of the global population will use a chat app.
Some 50% of all chat app users worldwide are based in the APAC region, with more than half of those located in China.
Indian chat app users are expected to grow by more than 24% this year to over 133 million, making it the fastest growing market and second largest market.
Indonesia has more than 53 million chat app users currently, up 21% on 2015, with strong growth expected to continue in both regions in the forecast period, up to 230 million mobile messaging app users in in India and roughly 86 million in Indonesia by 2020.
However, these estimations are down from earlier predictions, due to revised numbers of Facebook usage, reducing the number of social network users and thus driving mobile messaging adoption.
In Western Europe, mobile phone messaging apps will be used by more than 149 million consumers, with almost a fifth of those in the UK.
France shows the fastest growth in the region, with 21.4 million users, up 16.5%, representing 60% of mobile phone internet users. Germany has a year on year increase of 14% in 2016, up to more than 24 million, representing 49.8% mobile phone internet users.