Indrani Sen: Does the growth of messaging apps & social media apps open up new opportunities for Indian marketers?

20 Sep,2021

Indrani SenBy Indrani Sen


In 2020. during the early months of the setting in of the pandemic, the entire world saw an accelerated adoption of mobile messaging apps as people wanted to stay connected with family and friends and the number of users across the world grew by 14 per cent. Indian consumers also joined in the race. In 2021, according to an article published in last week, there will be a deceleration in growth with the rate of growth falling down to 6.1% from 14%. However, introduction of interactive features, new applications of video callings for payments, etc. will continue to attract people to the messaging platforms.


The same report ( ) had an interesting chart showing the comparison of various countries across the world in terms of usage of mobile phone messaging apps, which I am sharing here.



As shown in the above chart, India has 87.4% mobile phone messaging apps users presenting a good opportunity to the marketers in our country. It is not among the top ten countries which have 90% + mobile phone messaging apps users, but leads the next group of countries having 75% + mobile phone apps users. The report warns that due to the controversial privacy policy of WhatsApp, the growth of the same has been declining in most of the countries including India. Similarly, Facebook’s Messenger is also expected to decline in 2021 in many countries including India, which posted the strongest growth for Messenger in 2020. Still the overall estimates for users of messaging apps across countries are now at a far higher level than what was estimated before Covid-19 struck the world.


We saw another report last week from App Annie which reported that India is the top market globally in terms of downloading of social apps across iOS and Google Play in the first half (H1) of 2021. As per their report, Asia is the largest region for downloads of social apps in Hi2021 having a 60% share of the global market. However, in terms of consumer spends through social apps, India is in the 17th position in a list of top 20 countries.


So, the marketing companies in India may still not be able to utilise fruitfully the growing numbers of users of messaging apps as well as social media apps. It seems that while brand awareness can be promoted through the apps, but Indian consumers are still not ready to spend money through the apps in spite of the assurance given through the interactive apps. Still, it is undeniable that the pandemic has given a big push to the usage of both messaging and social media apps in India and has opened windows of new opportunities for digital marketing.


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