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The Growth of Global Chat Apps Exploiting Global Niches

Jim Riley

31st August 2016

A great article here from the BBC showcasing the rapid global growth of chat apps.

Blog readers will be very familiar with the likes of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat.

However, one of the fastest growing and largest chat apps globally is based in China - WeChat.

Indeed, the ubiquitous nature of the WeChat platform is thought to be the model that other chat apps are trying to replicate. This article in the FT is well worth a read to learn more about WeChat.

Some other chat apps might also be unfamiliar to UK-based users. However, they illustrate beautifully the potential to exploit global niche markets.

For example, the article explains that

"in Japan the market leader is Line; KakaoTalk rules OK in Korea; Kik is huge in Canada and the US; Hike bosses India; while in the Arab world niche networks such as Palringo and Soma dominate".

The article is also useful in highlighting how the different chat apps are attempting to differentiate themselves from each other, for example by using security as a differentiator.

Number of monthly active WeChat users from 2nd quarter 2010 to 1st quarter 2016 (in millions)

Jim Riley

Jim co-founded tutor2u alongside his twin brother Geoff! Jim is a well-known Business writer and presenter as well as being one of the UK's leading educational technology entrepreneurs.

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