19th - Jul - 2016

Worldwide We’re All Doing It, Just Differently

We know OTT (Over The Top) messaging is in prevalent use worldwide; recently it surpassed SMS for P2P (person-to-person) messaging, but not all OTT is equal. In other words, we may all be consumers in sending and receiving OTT messages, but depending on where we live has a strong influence on which mobile application we use.

The recently-published “Mobile Messaging Report 2016” provides some interesting insights into consumer behavior specific to person-to-person messaging and specifically OTT. The report consists of survey results from nearly 6,000 people from nine different countries representing the five continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America.

When it comes to person-to-person messaging, the survey asked the questions, “Which services or applications do you use regularly to send and receive direct messages on your mobile device (excluding email) check all that apply?” and “Which one service or application do you use the most (select only one) to send and receive direct messages on your mobile device (excluding email)?”

Bar graph showing usage of messaging apps

The overall country results clearly show the most used applications are OTT apps. WhatsApp, FB Messenger and standard SMS services make up the top three.

Bar graph showing usage of messaging apps

Examining the survey responses by country for the question, “Which services or applications do you use regularly to send and receive direct messages on your mobile device (excluding email) check all that apply?” clearly shows how the preference varies by country and continent.

  • FB Messenger (Facebook)

  • WhatsApp (Facebook)

  • Instagram (Facebook)

  • WeChat (Tencent)

  • Line

  • Skype (Microsoft)

  • Periscope (Twitter)

  • Viber (Rakuten)

  • SnapChat

  • Telegram

  • BB Messenger (Blackberry)

So what’s driving the popularity of OTT from using the “traditional services” i.e. SMS and MMS? Smartphones now dominate the market and go way beyond the basic mobile phone functionality; it is the “Swiss Army Knife” in our pockets. The app developers know this and capitalize on how we use our smart phones. An obvious one, is using our phones for taking pictures and video. These apps make it as easy as one-click to share these moments instantly.

Though it appears the marketplace is converging on a few OTT services, the very nature of these applications make “switching” from one to another relatively easy for consumers. Namely, the apps make it easy to “switch” from one to another – most of them automatically search through contacts, photos and other resources on the smart phone to identify people in your social circle already using the app so set up is fast and you can be messaging in no time.

Advancements in technology and feature set will continue to drive consumers to switch between OTT apps with the advent of chat bots, encrypted messages, temporary messages (limited time to view) and more including integrations with other popular apps and possible acquisitions and mergers of various applications by the larger companies.

The one thing that is very clear when looking at the overall survey responses is that OTT is the preferred messaging service for person-to-person. The apps have made it easy (almost no work required by the consumer) to connect with people already in their network. Also with the extensive features built-in to these apps, sending rich media like video and pictures in one-click and in most cases without additional costs are all benefits currently not available with traditional services like SMS.

Originally posted on mblox.com

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