Most of us who own a mobile device use a messaging app. In fact, data suggests that 80% of all smartphone users will indeed message, call and video conference through such platforms by 2018. But which app is the most popular and what makes them stand out from each other?

Believe it or not, the messaging app with the most registered users is not Facebook Messenger or even WhatsApp. No, these US-based platforms are superseded by the China-based WeChat app, which has 1.1 billion to date. However where WeChat fails to compete is with the number of active monthly users. Both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have around 1 billion while WeChat has 818 billion. In other words, more people have installed WeChat, but more people actively use the other apps more regularly.

Other notable mentions include Israel’s Viber that has over 800 million registered users, 249 million of which are active. Japan’s Line app that has 700 million registered users, 220 million which are active each month.

WhatsApp takes the lead regarding global penetration. Although other apps may be more popular in certain regions, WhatsApp at has a presence in more countries than any of the other platforms. This includes Brazil, Mexico, India, Russia, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

Facebook Messenger is most popular in Australia, Canada, the United States, England, and France. Although the numbers might not reflect it, it is the most accessible because of support for 70 languages.

Viber dominates in Belarus, Moldova, the Ukraine, Iraq, Libya, and Sri Lanka. The Line app is only popular in Japan itself, and WeChat dominates in its native China, as well as Iran and Japan. It is however poised to move further afield as it supports 52 different languages.

To learn more about how the top 5 messaging apps compare, check out the following new infographic from

best messaging apps